New-home Sales Fall 1.6% To 438,000 Annual Rate In November

MarketWatch Pulse

Sales of new single-family homes fell 1.6% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 438,000, the slowest pace in four months, with drops in three of four U.S. regions, the government reported Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a November rate of 450,000, compared with an originally reported pace of 458,000 for October. On Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department revised October's sales rate to 445,000. Sales of new homes in October were down 1.6% from a year earlier, signaling shakiness for the recovery this year, which has seen setbacks from bad weather and tough lending standards, among other factors. For November the sales pace fell 12% in the Northeast, 6.4% in the South and 6.3% in the Midwest. Meanwhile, the sales pace rose 14.8% in the West. The median price of new homes sold hit $280,900 in November, up 1.4% from the year-earlier period. The supply of new homes on the U.S. market rose to 5.8 months in November from 5.7 months in October. Economists warn over reading too much into a single monthly report, as the data can be quite volatile. There's a confidence interval of plus or minus 12.3% for November's sales drop of 1.6%, showing that the government isn't sure whether deals rose or fell last month.

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