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Sales of new homes in U.S. exceed forecasts
Sales declined 2.1 percent to a 464,000 annualized pace, following a revised 474,000 rate in October that was the strongest since July 2008, figures from the Commerce Department showed Tuesday in Washington. The median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 440,000.
The 5 percent decrease won’t make much of a dent on on the overall 2013 unit sales increase, however, which remains more than 10 percent ahead of the first 11 months of last year, the group reported. The 14,052 homes sold through the end of November represents the first time the 14,000 barrier has been surpassed in one calendar year since 2005.
The market is on pace to reach 435,100 new homes sold this year, the most since 2008, according to Bloomberg calculations.
Another report Tuesday showed orders for durable goods climbed more than forecast in November, reflecting broad-based gains that signal business investment is rebounding after a third-quarter lull.
Purchases cooled in two of four U.S. regions in November, led by a 26.6 percent drop in the Midwest. Sales jumped 31.1 percent in the West and 15.2 in the Northeast.
New-home sales, tabulated when contracts are signed, are considered a timelier barometer than purchases of previously owned dwellings, which are calculated when a contract closes. New construction accounted for about 7 percent of the residential market in 2012.
At the same time, sales of previously owned homes declined for the third consecutive month in November to the lowest level of the year as rising mortgage rates and a limited supply of properties discouraged buyers.
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