New-homes sales jumped 5.8% in February as low mortgage rates and better weather combined to boost homebuying.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the sales of new single-family homes rose from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.1 million in January to a 1.16 million rate in February. National Association of Home Builders economists have been forecasting that this year's sales would lag slightly behind 2004's record pace. However, mortgage rates have gone down instead of up. If mortgage rates stay low, "then this year may very well beat last year," said NAHB economist Michael Carliner.

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