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February new home sales slip to 590,000

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2008 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.8 percent below the revised January rate of 601,000 and is 29.8 percent below the February 2007 estimate of 840,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2008 was $244,100; the average sales price was $296,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 471,000. This represents a supply of 9.8 months at the current sales rate.

The government data show all four regions of the country posted double-digit declines in new home sales from the year-ago period. On a month-to-month basis, the South fared best -- up 5.7 percent. The West also showed a month-to-month increase of a modest 0.7 percent.


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