Sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dealing a setback to the housing market recovery.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales dropped 14.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, declining for a second consecutive month.
February’s sales were revised up to a 449,000-unit pace from the previously reported 440,000-unit rate.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales at a 450,000-unit pace last month.
Compared to March last year, sales were down 13.3 percent, the largest decline since April 2011.
The housing market has been slammed by an unusually cold winter, higher mortgage interest rates and a shortage of properties that is limiting options for potential buyers.
House prices, whose increases have outstripped wage gains, are also weighing on the sector.