New homes were sold at a record annual pace of 893,000 units in February, up 5% from January's revised pace of 852,000 units, the Commerce Department said Monday. Sales were up 9% from a year earlier.

The news surprised analysts, who had predicted that new homes would sell slower in February than in January. Concern that the strong housing market could signal inflationary pressure helped push the 30-year Treasury bond yield to 5.98% by early afternoon, its highest level since March 6.

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