Sales of newly built single-family homes plummeted 15.4% in March, totaling just 627,000 last month, according to data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The revised rate for home sales in February was 741,000.
Year-over-year sales for March fell 9.5%. The last time that figure was so low was in May 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing people to shelter in place, and a stalling economy with tens of millions of job losses is leading consumers to avoid big-ticket purchases.
And it's likely to get worse.
"Given the widespread nature of the shutdown during April, it is probable that new home sales activity will drop much further when the April figure is reported," said Ben Ayers, senior economist at Nationwide, in emailed comments.