POSTED: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 10:41am
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 11:44am
WASHINGTON D.C. —
Buyers of new homes plunged in February to the
fewest on records dating back nearly half a century, a dismal sign
for an already-weak housing market.
The Commerce Department says new-home sales fell 16.9 percent
last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000 homes.
It's the third straight monthly decline and far below the
700,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.
The median price of a new home dropped nearly 14 percent to
$202,100, the lowest since December 2003. New home prices are now
30 percent higher than of those being resold.
Builders have struggled to compete with a wave of foreclosures
that has lowered the price of previously occupied homes. High
unemployment, tight credit and uncertainty over prices have also
kept many potential buyers from making purchases.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)