Sales of new sales homes fell unexpectedly for a second straight month in January, marking its lowest level since August 2017.
Single-family home sales dropped 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 in January, the Commerce Department said on Monday. December’s sales pace was revised up to 643,000 units from the previously reported 625,000 units.
Economists polled by Reuters had project new home sales to rise to 645,000 units last month.
There were 301,000 new houses on the market at the end of January, the most since March 2009. At the current sales pace, it would take 6.1 months to exhaust the supply on the market.
Increasing mortgage costs and property price are blamed for the drop on new home sales. Rising mortgage rates will make buying a house more expensive.
The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in January was $323,000, compared to $336,700 in December and $315,200 in the same period a year ago.
New home sales plunged 14.2 percent in the South and fell 33.3 percent in the Northeast. Sales rose 15.4 percent in the Midwest and 1 percent in the West.