By Jeffry Bartash
Sales of new homes rose to an annual rate of 437,000 last month from an upwardly revised 378,000 in December, marking the biggest one-month gain since 1993, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The figures are seasonally adjusted.
The pace of sales easily blew by the 384,000 consensus estimate of the economists polled by MarketWatch.
“New-home sales are extremely volatile and subject to large revisions, limiting the information value of any one report,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist of High Frequency Economics. “Even so, today’s data are clearly consistent with an improving trend.”
Sales for December were adjusted upward from the initially reported figure.
The stronger-than-expected pickup in new-home sales helped boost U.S. stocks in Tuesday trading. See: U.S. stocks jump on housing data.
Sales are now 28.9% higher than a year ago, though they still remain low by historical standards. MORE