After a surprise rebound in existing home sales (even as condo sales slumped), new home sales were expected to rebound in Feb from their 7.8% plunge in January, but grossly disappointed, dropping 0.6% MoM – the 3rd monthly drop in a row.
This is the first time new home sales declined for 3 straight months since Q1 2014
Single-family home sales increased 4.2 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.96 million. Purchases of condominium and co-op units declined 6.5 percent to a 580,000 pace (down 4.9% YoY – the worst since Sept 2014)
However, the inventory of available properties plunged 8.1% YoY to 1.59mm, the lowest for February in data going back to 1999.
While purchases rose 11.4%MoM in The West, The NorthEast saw a 12.3% MoM plunge in sales (blamed on weather)
“There’s no letup in home-price growth, another testament to the solid, strong housing demand in the marketplace,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a conference call with reporters.
“If prices were weakening that may be signaling a possible turning point but we are not really seeing that.” Inventory conditions remain “very tight,” he said.
However, it’s not been a pretty start to 2018 for US housing data as the Hurricane/Flood bump fades…