Sales of newly-built U.S. homes fell sharply between November and December, hitting their lowest level in nearly a year.
The purchases of new, single-family homes dropped 10.4 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 536,000, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Commerce Department data. That was the slowest monthly sales pace since February and the biggest month-over-month drop since March 2015, according to the Journal.
The chief economist at Nationwide Insurance told the paper the fall was “a shocker.” However, he said home sales are volatile throughout winter and he expects new-home sales to pick up in 2017.
Sales of new homes spiked in November, as buyers rushed to sign contracts ahead of rising interest rates.
Around 563,000 new homes sold last year, a 12 percent jump from 2015, an indication of broad improvement across the market, according to the Journal. Sales of new homes — which represent about 10 percent of the market across the country — are still well below where they were during the housing boom of the 2000s.
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