US new home sales rise to 10-year high

Sales of new single-family homes in the United States accelerated for the second consecutive month in October, reaching their highest level since the housing bubble, according to data released Monday.

The increase indicates a recovery in sales after a year that had been lethargic due to a tightening of supply and rising prices.

But the monthly gain was boosted by the southern United States, which was damaged by the storm, and continued to sell vigorously.

New home sales rose 6.2% from September to an annual rate of 685,000 units, seasonally adjusted, the fastest pace since October 2007, Commerce said in his monthly report.

The result exceeded the expectations of analysts, who were expecting a decline of 2.5%.

However, estimates are subject to a high degree of uncertainty. September sales, which were originally reported as a 10-year record, were revised downward.

Patrick Newport of IHS Markit said that it is more useful to focus on trends for several months.

"It takes about six months to establish a trend – the six-month moving average shows that sales are gradually rising at the national level," he said in a customer note. "The prognosis for the future is for sustained growth over the next two years."

Analysts said the tight housing market is weighing on sales and home prices out of reach of many potential homeowners.

And yet, sales in the South, which suffered consecutive hurricanes in late summer, amounted to 383,000 units – the highest level since October 2007 – even though it was the largest in the world. was an increase of only 1.3% compared to the previous month.

Sales surged in the Northeast, jumping 30.2%, a 10-year record, while sales in the Midwest jumped 17.9%.

Jim O 'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics said that despite frequent revisions and ups and downs, the numbers show improvement over the last few years.

"Thanks to volatility, sales reached an average of 613,000 per year this year, compared to an average of 561,000 in 2016, 503,000 in 2015 and 440,000 in 2014," he said in a research note. .

"Data is very volatile but sales seem to have picked up after a few slowdowns earlier."

The steady pace of sales reduced the supply of new homes to 4.9 months, a decrease of 5.8%, but in raw numbers, the number of homes for sale has changed little to 282,000 , the highest since May 2009.

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