New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly rose in September, pointing to sustained demand for housing even as data for August was revised sharply lower.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales increased 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 units last month, pulling them close to a nine-year high touched in July.
August’s sales pace was slashed to 575,000 units from the previously reported 609,000 units.
“We see tremendous growth potential in new home sales as housing demand continues to grow and a continued shortage of newer vintage homes,” said Tian Liu, chief economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“The limiting factor to that growth will be the limited supply of land and labor, and homebuilders’ focus on higher price segments.”
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast single-family home sales, which account for about 9.8 percent of overall home sales, falling to a rate of 600,000 units last month.
New home sales, which are derived from building permits, are volatile on a month-to-month basis and subject to large revisions.
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