Rising mortgage rates caught up with home buyers in March, reducing sales of new houses by 7.6 percent to the lowest level in 10 months.
But analysts noted the March pace still was higher than last year’s monthly average and that sales had little chance of keeping up with the pace set in the first two months of the year.
Sales totaled a seasonally adjusted 672,000 annual rate, smallest since 667,000 last May, the Commerce Department said Monday. Buying stalled in every region except the Midwest where activity showed a slight gain.
The report also showed sales far stronger than first reported during the previous two months. Sales totaled a 729,000 rate in January and 727,000 in February, up more than 20,000 than first thought in both months.