New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show new home sales rose again in February, increasing 1.1 percent from the month before. The improvement was the third consecutive monthly gain and could be a sign that buyer demand is beginning to climb as the spring season approaches. However, the gains could also be due to mortgage rates, which declined in January and February after peaking at the end of last year. The new home market is also likely benefitting from the lack of existing homes available for sale. The inventory of previously owned homes remains lower than normal and could be pushing home shoppers to look at newly built options. Those shoppers need to be prepared, though. New homes are generally more expensive than existing homes. And, according to the report, they've gotten even more expensive, with the median price of new homes sold in February reaching $438,000, up from $427,500 the month before.
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