US new home sales miss expectations in January

By Thomson Reuters Feb 26, 2024 | 9:21 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose less than expected in January, likely curbed by frigid weather, but demand for new construction remains underpinned by a persistent shortage of previously owned homes.

New home sales increased 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 661,000 units last month, the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau said on Monday. December’s sales pace was revised lower to 651,000 units from the previously reported 664,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales rising to a rate of 680,000 units.

New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading indicator of the housing market. They, however, can be volatile on a month-to-month basis. Sales rose 1.8% on a year-on-year basis in January.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)