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
New home sales are up just 0.5% YoY...
Purchases rose in two of four U.S. regions, including a 9 percent gain in the biggest region, the South; sales fell 17.6 percent in second-largest region, the West
And while existng home sales popped, new home sales slumped to 618k - the lowest since October...
Median sales price increased 9.7% YoY to $326,800
Bloomberg notes that steady hiring and elevated consumer confidence are expected to support demand for housing, but borrowing costs are picking up and property-price appreciation continues to outpace wage growth. That's crimping affordability, especially for younger residents and first-time buyers.