New Home Sales Slumped in December, After Robust November

(CN) — Home buyers pulled back on purchases of new homes in December, a retreat from robust buying in November that had reached a 10-year high, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The government said sales of new homes slid 9.3 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000. It was the biggest drop since August 2016.

The report comes less than 24 hours after the National Association of Realtors said the sales of existing homes also stumbled in December.

The Commerce Department report also revised down its previous numbers on November sales of new homes, to 689,000 from an originally reported 733,000, but the rate of sales was still the strongest since October 2007.

Despite the sharp decline in new home sales at the end of the year, 2017 was a good year for this market overall. New-home sales rose 14.1 percent from December 2016.

The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 295,000. This represents a supply of 5.7 months at the current sales rate, the Commerce Department said.

The median price of a new home hit a record $335,400 in December, up 2.6 percent from a year earlier.

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