US new-home sales recover from slump

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Sales of new single-family homes in the United States rebounded in October from a September slump, as prices fell year-over-year, according to official data released on Wednesday.

New-home sales jumped 10.7 percent to an annual rate of 495,000 in October and are 4.9 percent higher than a year ago, the Commerce Department said.

The September sales slump was worse than previously estimated; the department downwardly revised the number by 11,000 to 447,000.

The often-volatile report on new-home sales showed a sharp tightening in supply of new homes on the market in October. At the current sales pace, there were 5.5 months of supply, down more than eight percent from September.


The median price of a new home fell to $281,500, the lowest price since June.
Analysts emphasized the volatility in the data.

“New home sales surged in October — not really. There was a sharp rise in signed contracts but that was only because the September number was revised down,” said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors, calling the report “weird”.

“Demand in the Northeast jumped by 135 percent but fell slightly in the West. But the strangest number was median prices: They fell, yes fell, by 6.0 percent from the October 2014 level. That makes no sense at all.”

AFP

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