Sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dealing a setback to the housing market recovery.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales dropped 14.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, declining for a second consecutive month. February's sales were revised up to a 449,000-unit pace from the previously reported 440,000-unit rate.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales at a 450,000-unit pace last month. Compared to March last year, sales were down 13.3 percent, the largest decline since April 2011.
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The housing market has been slammed by an unusually cold winter, higher mortgage interest rates and a shortage of properties that is limiting options for potential buyers.