U.S. New Home Sales Show Sharp Increase From Downwardly Revised Level

A report released by the Commerce Department on Monday showed a significant increase in U.S. new home sales in the month of November. The Commerce Department said new home sales jumped by 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 719,000 after plunging by 2.7 percent to a revised rate of 710,000 in October. Economists had expected new home sales to inch up by 0.1 percent to 734,000 from the 733,000 originally reported for the previous month. The rebound in new home sales came as sales in the Northeast soared by 52.4 percent to a rate of 32,000 and sales in the West surged up by 7.5 percent to a rate of 216,000. Meanwhile, the report said new home sales in the Midwest came in unchanged at a rate of 71,000, while sales in the South tumbled by 4.1 percent to a rate of 400,000. The Commerce Department said the median sales price of new houses sold in November was $330,800, up 4.4 percent from $316,900 in October and up 7.2 percent from $308,500 in the same month a year ago. The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 323,000, representing 5.4 months of supply at the current sales rate. Last Thursday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing a much bigger than expected pullback in U.S. existing home sales in the month of November. NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.35 million in November after jumping by 1.5 percent to a revised 5.44 million in October. Economists had expected existing home sales to dip by 0.4 percent to a rate of 5.44 million from the 5.46 million originally reported for the previous month.