New home sales in the U.S. rebounded in the month of December after falling for four consecutive months, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The report said new home sales jumped by 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 842,000 in December after plunging by 12.6 percent to a revised rate of 829,000 in November.
Economists had expected new home sales to surge up by 2.9 percent to a rate of 865,000 from the 841,000 originally reported for the previous month.
Despite the rebound, the annual rate of new home sales in December remains well below the fourteen-year high of 979,000 set in July.
New home sales in the Midwest led the rebound, spiking by 30.6 percent to an annual rate of 94,000, while new home sales in the West jumped by 8.8 percent to a rate of 234,000.
On the other hand, the report showed new home sales in the South slumped by 5.1 percent to a rate of 483,000 and new home sales in the Northeast tumbled by 6.1 percent to a rate of 31,000.
The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in December was $355,900, up 3.5 percent from $343,900 in November and up 8 percent from $329,500 a year ago.
The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 302,000, representing 4.3 months of supply at the current sales rate.
For all of 2020, an estimated 811,000 new homes were sold, reflecting an 18.8 percent spike from the 2019 figure of 683,000
The National Association of Realtors released a separate report last Friday showing an unexpected rebound in existing home sales in the month of December.
NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 6.76 million in December after tumbling by 2.2 percent to a revised rate of 6.71 million in November.
The rebound surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 2.1 percent to a rate of 6.55 million from the 6.69 million originally reported for the previous month.
With the unexpected monthly increase, existing home sales in December were up by 22.2 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
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