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US new home sales fall 1.6 percent in February

United States America,Business/Economy, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 IANS

Washington, March 23 (IANS) Sales of new single-family houses in the US declined in February, the Commerce Department said Friday.


Sales of new single-family houses in January dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 units, 1.6 percent below the downwardly revised January rate of 318,000 units. The new figure marked the second straight month of decrease, Xinhua reported.


However, the level is 11.4 percent above the February 2011 estimate of 281,000 units.


The median sales price of new houses sold in February rose to $233,700, higher than the reading of 215,700 in January.


The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 150,000. This represents a supply of 5.8 months at the current sales rate.


The US housing industry is suffering its worst slump in decades. Experts hold that the home price downturn, large inventory of foreclosed houses and a persisting credit crunch have been a major drag on the property sector as well as the overall economic recovery.


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