New home sales in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 625,000, a decrease of 9.3% compared with about 689,000 in November but an increase of 14.1% compared with about 548,000 in December 2016, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
That’s about 55,000 units below economists’ estimates.
Reflecting on the past year, an estimated 608,000 new homes were sold in 2017 – an increase of 8.3% compared with about 561,000 in 2016.
The median sales price of new home sold in December was $335,400. The average sales price was $398,900.
As of the end of the month, there were about 295,000 new homes available for sale in the U.S.
That’s about a 5.7-month supply at the current sales rate.
“Despite the dip in December’s new home sales, we can continue to feel confident that residential building will persist steadily, especially as we begin to approach the busy selling season,” says Bill Banfield, executive vice president for Quicken Loans, in a statement. “We can tip our hats to a strong jobs market, low mortgage rates and a jump in home equity for the strongest annual sales we’ve seen in a decade.”