Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 16.9 percent in February to a record-low seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 units, according to figures released last week by the U.S. Commerce Department.

“February’s sales numbers add to the mounting evidence that the housing recovery is hesitating along with the inconsistent progress of the economic recovery,” says National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) chief economist David Crowe. “The continuing fragile state of the housing market should serve as a flag of caution to policymakers who are considering major changes to the nation’s housing finance system and to crucial tax incentives for homeownership such as the mortgage interest deduction.”

New-home sales hit record lows in three out of four regions this February, including the Northeast, where a 57.1 percent decline was recorded, the Midwest, where a 27.5 percent decline was registered, and the South, where a 6.3 percent decline was recorded. The West also posted a 14.7 percent decline.


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