Real Estate

New home sales take a hit as builders grapple with big delays and bigger costs


A contractor frames a house under construction in Lehi, Utah, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Private residential construction in the U.S. rose 2.7% in November.

George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sales of newly built homes fell more than expected in February, as builders faced higher costs and persistent delays, and, consequently, raised their prices.

Taken together with rising mortgage rates during the month, affordability for buyers took a major hit.

The headline sales numbers were disappointing, with an 18% monthly drop to the slowest pace since last May, according to the U.S. Census. But some of the technical numbers are more telling of where builders expect their business to…


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