26 March 2013 16:19 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US sales of new single-family homes fell by 4.6% in February from January, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday, another sign of an uneven and bumpy road in the housing sector’s recovery.
In its monthly report, the department said that sales of new one-family homes last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 411,000, down from the downwardly revised January figure of 431,000.
January’s sales of new single-family homes had initially been estimated at 437,000.
Sales of new one-family homes saw a 7.3% drop in December from November, followed by a sharp 15.6% advance in January, and now this key housing sector indicator has flipped over again with the 4.6% February decline.
Despite the ups and downs of new home sales, the department’s data indicate that the sector is in a relatively steady if sometimes erratic recovery.
The department noted that February’s sales of new single-family homes were 12.3% ahead of the sales pace of 366,000 seen in the same month last year.
The housing market is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives, roofing materials and synthetic fibres.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each new home built represents some $15,000 (€11,700) in chemicals and derivatives used in the structure or in production of component materials, equipment and furnishings.
The drop in one-family home sales last month comes as US home builders have reported declining confidence in the housing market for two consecutive months.
Housing sector economists say that while demand for new homes is increasing, many would-be buyers are being kept away by continuing tight mortgage loan standards and low property evaluations.
Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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