U.S. New Home Sales Rebound Amid Strength In West And South

New home sales in the U.S. rebounded in May after a sharp pullback in the previous month, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The Commerce Department said new home sales climbed by 2.9 percent to an annual rate of 610,000 in May from the upwardly revised April rate of 593,000.

Economists had expected new home sales to jump by 5.4 percent to a rate of 600,000 from the 569,000 originally reported for the previous month.

The rebound in new home sales came as sales in the West spiked by 13.3 percent to a rate of 162,000 and sales in the South surged up by 6.2 percent to a rate of 360,000.

On the other hand, the report said new home sales in the Midwest plunged by 25.7 percent to a rate of 55,000 and sales in the Northeast slumped by 10.8 percent to a rate of 33,000.

The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in May was $345,800, up 11.5 percent from $310,200 in April and up 16.8 percent from $296,000 in the same month a year ago.

The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 268,000, representing a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate. The months of supply was unchanged from April.

On Wednesday, a separate report from the National Association of Realtors showed an unexpected rebound in existing home sales in the month of May.

NAR said existing home sales climbed by 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.62 million in May after tumbling by 2.5 percent to a downwardly revised 5.56 million in April.

The rebound surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to edge down to an annual rate of 5.55 million in May from the 5.57 million originally reported for the previous month.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the unexpected increase in sales in May came as more buyers overcame the increasingly challenging market conditions prevalent in many areas.

by RTT Staff Writer

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