GO
Loading...

US New Home Sales Fall, but Sector Remains a Bright Spot

Phillip Spears | Digital Vision | Getty Images

New U.S. single-family home sales fell in December although the median sales price rose and the sector still appears set to be a bright spot in the country's economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said on Friday sales dropped 7.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted 369,000-unit annual rate. That was below analysts' forecasts of a 385,000-unit annual pace.

Government data for new home sales are subject to substantial revisions.

Indeed, the Commerce Department raised its estimate for sales in November by 22,000 to a 398,000-unit rate, making the pace of sales in November the fastest since April 2010.

The housing sector has been a point of strength in the economy over the last year, and is expected to help offset the economic damage from tax hikes enacted this year.

The median price for a new home rose to $248,900 in December from $245,600 in November, according to figures that are not adjusted for seasonal swings. Rising prices are seen as a sign of improving health in the housing market.

Economists think home building added to economic growth last year for the first time since 2005. Friday's report showed 367,000 new homes were sold last year, the most since 2009.

Still, that number remains about a third of the record number sold in 2005, before a housing collapse helped trigger the 2007-09 recession.

Contact Real Estate

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More*
  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

Latest Special Reports

  • File photo: Participants at a hacking conference in Germany

    A series of high profile cyber attacks has created huge economic opportunity as businesses look to fend off future attacks.

  • Whether you're young and just getting started investing or moving closer to retirement, factoring in age will keep you ahead of the game.

  • Advisor-centric content with guest columns covering practice management, investment strategies and marketing/social media.