New data showed an uptick in sales of new homes in the United States, but all the growth was concentrated in just one region. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Data showing a rebound in new single-family home sales last month raising questions about the momentum of the recovery in the pivotal sector of the U.S. economy. New homes sales rose two percent in February from January, but that was about six percent lower than a year ago. The gains were also concentrated in just one region - the West. Earlier in the week, data on existing home sales fell short of forecasts with sales down across every region. The reality is that many Americans remain on the sidelines. They're holding off on buying homes despite an improving labor market and mortgage rates that are still low by historical standards. The problem comes down to supply according to PwC's Real Estate Advisory leader Mitch Roschelle: (SOUNDBITE) MITCH ROSCHELLE, REAL ESTATE ADVISORY LEADER, PWC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We don't have a problem with demand for housing. We have a supply problem, and, if supply is tight, what happens? Prices go up. That is exactly what we are seeing." And those higher prices are making it more difficult for home buyers. But the pace of price appreciation for new homes is slowing. The median price up just 2.6 percent in February from a year ago, to $301,400.