The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have released February figures for the new home sales.

February new home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,226,000 units, up 9.4 percent from the revised January figure of 1,121,000. This is also substantially above the rate of 1,165,000 new homes sold in February 2004.

Sales increased most strongly in the Northeast where the pace was over 20% higher than the previous month. Sales in the other three regions were up, but in a range of 7.4 to 9.9 percent.

However, only in the South did sales increase over February of 2004. That region scored a 15.5 percent increase while all other regions were in negative territory: -1.7 percent in the West, -3.5 in the Northeast, and 6.8 percent in the Midwest for a national average of 5.2 percent.

Approximately 444,000 homes remained available for sale nationwide at the end of the month, approximately a 4.4 month supply at the current sales rate.

The median price of new houses sold during the month was $230,700.

February figures, of course, do not reflect any impact from recent mortgage rate increases. That impact, if any, may be seen in the March figures due on April 26.