Steel Markets

February Home Sales Strong Before Coronavirus Impact

Written by Sandy Williams

Sales of new homes in February rose 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 765,000, according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Compared to February 2019, sales jumped 14 percent.

“New home sales were solid in February before challenges associated with the coronavirus set in on the economy,” said National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

“The January and February sales figures, helped by warm weather during the winter, were the best recorded seasonally adjusted annual rates since the Great Recession,” he added.

The median sales price of a new house sold in February 2020 was $345,900 and the average price $403,800. An estimated 319,000 homes were for sale at the end of the month, representing a supply of 5.0 months at the current sales rate.

Dietz expects the pace of new home sales to decline in the second quarter as the coronavirus impacts employment and shutdowns restrict buyer activity.

“However, given the momentum housing construction held at the start of 2020, the housing industry will certainly be a sector leading the economy in the eventual recovery,” he added.

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