Real estate signs posted in front of homes for sale in San Francisco
Washington - AFP
US new-home sales ticked higher in September to the highest level in more than six years, but August sales were revised sharply lower in official data released Friday.
New single-family houses sold at an annual rate of 467,000, up 0.2 percent from the revised August rate of 466,000, the Commerce Department said.
The August pace was previously estimated at 504,000. The monthly data are often volatile and subject to sharp revisions.
Sales last month reached their fastest pace since July 2008. Year-over-year, new home sales in September were up 17.0 percent.
The median sales price of new houses slid 9.7 percent from August to $259,000.
The inventory of new houses for sale at the end of September stood at 207,000, representing a 5.3-month supply at the current sales rate.
"This volatile report on US housing shows how difficult it has been to push sales of new homes higher, particularly given the competition with the resale market," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.
"But the overall market will keep receiving support from continued job creation and, now, easier lending rules," she said, referring to federal agencies' approval Wednesday of rules that ease the terms for home mortgages.
Sales of existing, or resale, homes outperformed new-home sales in September, increasing 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.17 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.