Hot Housing Market Has Cold Month

Two reports on home sales suggest that the housing market cooled in February. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that sales of new, one-family houses dropped 8% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, following January’s revised 12% fall. The February level was down 9% from a year before. The median sales price was up 5% from January, but down 1% from February 2002.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales fell 4% in February from January’s record, but were still at the fourth highest rate ever. Sales were 1% higher than the previous year. The median sales price was up 8% over the year. Inventories fell in line with sales and stood at 4.4 months, down from 4.5 in January.

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