A for sale sign stands in front of a house, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Westwood, Mass. U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, reaching record lows for the 14th time this year against the backdrop of the pandemic-ravaged economy. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac says on Thursday, Dec. 3, the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan slipped to 2.71% from 2.72% last week. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Sales of new homes plunged 18.2% in February as severe winter weather in many parts of the country and a lack of supply took a toll on the housing industry.

Sales of single-family homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 775,000 last month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, the slowest sales pace since May of last year.

The median price of a new home sold in February was $349,400, up 5.3% from a year ago.

Severe winter storms also had an impact on the sale of existing homes, which declined 6.5% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million units.

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