New Homes Sell at Best Pace in More Than a Decade

By Eric Morath Features Dow Jones Newswires

Purchases of newly built single-family homes rose in November to the highest level in more than a decade.

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Sales of new homes in the U.S. increased 17.5% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 in November, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the strongest sales pace since July 2007.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a sales rate of 651,000.

From a year earlier, new-home sales increased 26.6% in November, and year-to-date sales have risen 9.1%.

At the current sales pace, there was a 4.6-month supply of new homes on the market at the end of November, the smallest inventory since July 2016.

New homes sales account for a relatively small share of total home purchases and data can be volatile month-to-month. November's increase comes with a margin of error of plus or minus 10.4 percentage points. While sales of those single-family properties unexpectedly surged last month, the pace remains well below the peak reached in 2005, at the height of the housing bubble.

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Friday's report showed the median sale price for a new home sold in November was $318,700, up from the $315,000 median price in November 2016.

Sales of all properties appear to have perked up late this year.

Existing-home sales increased 5.6% in November from the prior month to reach the highest level since December 2006, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

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

Write to Eric Morath at eric.morath@wsj.com.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 22, 2017 10:15 ET (15:15 GMT)