Sales of new single-family houses in February 2014 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.3 percent below the revised January rate of 455,000 and is 1.1 percent below the February 2013 estimate of 445,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2014 was $261,800; the average sales price was $317,500. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 189,000. This represents a supply of 5.2 months at the current sales rate.
"There is no doubt that the persistently bad weather took a toll on sales in February," said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Wilmington, Del. "However, builders continued to increase their inventory of for-sale homes, indicating they still anticipate a relatively strong spring buying season."
"We still expect 2014 will be a strong year for housing," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "The first two-month average of 2014 is exactly in line with where 2013 left off. If not for the unusual weather, we would easily be ahead of last year's pace. We also continue to see household formations and pent-up demand driving sales forward."
Regionally, new-home sales activity fell 32.4 percent in the weather-battered Northeast, 1.5 percent in the South and 15.9 percent in the West. The Midwest posted a gain of 36.7 percent, stemming from an unusually low January figure.