(Source: Reuters)

Sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly rose at their fastest pace in 10 months in February, while prices fell by a record margin from a year ago, a government report showed on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department said sales rose 4.7 percent to a 337,000 annual pace, the fastest increase since April last year, from an upwardly revised 322,000 in January. Despite the increase, February sales were the second lowest ever after the drop in January to the slowest pace in records going back to 1963, the department said.

The median sales price in February fell a record 18.1 percent to $200,900 from a year earlier, the department said. The median marks the half-way point, with half of all houses sold above that level and half below.

Read Lucia Mutikani’s full article “U.S. home sales climb at fastest pace in 10 months” from Reuters (March 25, 2009)

Also read: “February new home sales rise unexpectedly” from the Associated Press (March 25, 2009).

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