Sales of new single-family houses in February 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000, according to estimates released jointly last week by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 7.8 percent above the revised January rate of 500,000 and is 24.8 percent above the February 2014 estimate of 432,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2015 was $275,500; the average sales price was $341,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 210,000. This represents a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.
"Today's numbers are a great start to the spring buying season," said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "Hopefully, this is an indicator of how the rest of the year will fare."
"Most sales activity continues to be among existing home owners who are trading up to new construction and taking advantage of low mortgage rates," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "First-time home buyers remain absent from the market, restricted by tight lending conditions."
The inventory of new homes for sale was at 210,000 in February, which is a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
Regionally, new home sales increased 152.9 percent in the Northeast and 10.1 percent in the South. Sales dropped 6 percent in the West and 12.9 percent in the Midwest.