U.S. New Home Sales Grew Robustly in October

By Sharon Nunn and Harriet Torry Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. new-home sales grew robustly again in October, after surging in September, a sign of ongoing strong demand and tight inventory.

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Purchases of newly built single-family homes, a small part of all U.S. home sales, rose 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 in October from the previous month, the Commerce Department said Monday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected sales to fall 6.4% in October to a 624,000 annual rate.

From a year earlier, new-home sales increased 18.7% in October, and year-to-date sales have risen 8.9%. At the current sales pace, there was a 4.9-month supply of new homes on the market at the end of October, the lowest level seen in 2017.

Sales of new homes in the Northeast and Midwest were large drivers of October's growth in new-home sales, with the Northeast clocking a 30.2% one-month increase and the Midwest seeing sales rise 17.9% in October from the month earlier.

October's robust growth comes after new-home sales surged 14.2% in September, signaling this section of the housing market remained strong despite recent hurricanes and an ongoing housing inventory shortage that has driven up home prices and affected other parts of the home-buying market. Still, overall U.S. new-home sales have not reached pre-recession levels.

The median sale price for a new home sold in October was $312,800, up from the $302,800 median price in October 2016.

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Sales of existing homes, which makes up the bulk of the U.S. housing market, dipped 0.9% in October from the same month a year earlier, the second consecutive decline on an annual basis, the National Association of Realtors said last week.

A copy of the full report is available at: https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs

Write to Sharon Nunn at sharon.nunn@wsj.com and Harriet Torry at harriet.torry@wsj.com.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 10:15 ET (15:15 GMT)