U.S. new home sales plunge amid harsh weather

March 23, 2021 10:10 AM EDT

FILE PHOTO: Clothes hang outside to dry behind an apartment as a buzzard flies during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in West Belle Glade, Florida, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes dropped more than expected in February amid bitterly cold weather, which also weighed on activity in other parts of the economy last month.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that new home sales plunged 18.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 775,000 units last month. January's sales pace was revised up to 948,000 units from the previously reported 923,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for a small share of U.S. home sales, tumbling 6.5% to a rate of 875,000 units in February. New home sales are drawn from a sample of houses selected from building permits.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani)

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