U.S. New Home Sales Spike Much More Than Expected In January
Data released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed a much bigger than expected jump in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of January.
The Commerce Department said new home sales spiked by 4.3 percent to an annual rate of 923,000 in January after soaring by 5.5 percent to a revised rate of 885,000 in December.
Economists had expected new home sales to surge up by 1.5 percent to a rate of 855,000 from the 842,000 originally reported for the previous month.
New home sales in the Midwest helped lead the higher in January, skyrocketing by 12.6 percent to an annual rate of 107,000.
The report said new home sales in the West also shot up by 6.8 percent to a rate of 307,000, while new home sales in the South jumped by 3.0 percent to a rate of 549,000.
On the other hand, the Commerce Department said new home sales in the Northeast plunged by 13.9 percent to a rate of 31,000.
The median sales price of new homes sold in January was $346,400, down 1.9 percent from $353,100 in December but up 5.3 percent from $328,900 in the same month a year ago.
The report showed the estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 307,000, representing 4.0 months of supply at the current sales rate.
A separate report released by the National Association of Realtors last Friday showed another unexpected increase in U.S. existing home sales in the month of January.
NAR said existing home sales rose by 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 6.69 million in January after climbing by 0.9 percent to a revised rate of 6.65 million in December.
The continued growth came as surprise to economists, who had expected existing home sales to tumble by 2.2 percent to a rate of 6.61 million from the 6.76 million originally reported for the previous month.