A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed a modest decrease in new home sales in the month of February.
The report said new home sales fell by 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 618,000 in February from an upwardly revised 622,000 in January.
Economists had expected new home sales to rise to a rate of 623,000 from the 593,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The decrease in new home sales was partly due to a steep drop in sales in the West, which plunged by 17.6 percent to a rate of 164,000.
New home sales in the Midwest also slumped by 3.7 percent, while new home sales in the South and Northeast surged up by 9.0 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively.
The Commerce Department said the median sales price of new houses sold in February was $326,800, up 0.6 percent from $324,900 in January and up 9.7 percent from $298,000 in the same month a year ago.
The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 305,000, representing 5.9 months of supply at the current sales rate.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing existing home sales increased by much more than anticipated in the month of February.
NAR said existing home sales jumped by 3.0 percent to an annual rate of 5.54 million in February from a rate of 5.38 million in January. Economists had expected existing home sales to rise by 0.5 percent.