New U.S. home sales drop 4.4% in February as economists warn of bigger hit to come

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A 'for sale' sign is seen in front of a home on May 30, 2019, in Miami, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A ‘for sale’ sign is seen in front of a home on May 30, 2019, in Miami, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. new home sales fell 4.4% in February with bigger declines expected in coming months as the coronavirus puts a major crimp on home sales.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that February sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 765,000 homes, down from a rate of 800,000 homes in January.

The January figure was revised up from an initial estimate of 764,000 but economists are warning that home sales, along with many other parts of the economy, are expected to take a big hit in coming months due to the shutdowns that have occurred to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The report showed that the median price for a home sold in February was $345,900, up 6.3% from a median price of $325,900 in January.

Economists are forecasting big declines for the overall economy with a wave of layoffs already starting due to the big hit the economy has taken in the wake of the virus.

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