By Dan McCue, Courthouse News
New home sales reached their fastest pace in more than 25 years in November, with transactions surging 17.5 percent against the backdrop of an ongoing shortage of existing homes on the market, the Commerce Department said Friday.
According to the government, new home sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 units compared to 624,000 in October — the biggest monthly gain since January 1992.
It was also the most new homes sold in a month since July 2007.
The growth was led by sales in the West, which increased 31.1 percent. Sales in the South were up 14.9 percent, followed by the Northeast at 9.5 percent and the Midwest at 6.9 percent.
The sharp upswing is a sign of the strong demand from would-be homebuyers amid the strengthening economy.
The inventory of existing homes on the market has steadily fallen on an annual basis, while new construction has been unable to keep up with sales that are on their best annual pace since 2007.
The median sales price of homes sold in November was $318,700, a 1.2 percent increase from a year ago.