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Sunday 30th of January 2011
January 26, 2011    

US new home sales beat expectations in December

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by Kay Murchie
US new home sales beat expectations in December

The Commerce Department has today revealed a rise in sales of new homes in the US for the month of December.

According to the Commerce Department, new single-family home sales rose to a better than expected annual rate of 329,000 units, from a revised 280,000 in November.

However, on an annual basis, December sales were down 7.6%.

For the full 2010 year, sales plummeted 14.2% to 321,000 - the lowest ever level since records began in January 1963.

The US housing market suffered in the latter part of last year after the Government tax incentive expired.

The end of the Government’s tax credit initiative, which provided up to $8,000 for new buyers and $6,500 for current owners who buy and move into another home, boosted the housing market during the early months of 2010.

The weak housing market in the US is highlighted in other data this week. Last week, the Commerce Department revealed a decline in US housing starts for the month of December – partly attributed to the bad weather.

According to the Commerce Department, construction of new US homes fell 4.3% on a monthly basis to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units – down from November’s rate of 553,000 and way below forecasts for a rate of 550,000.

This represented the second lowest build rate since records began in 1959.

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