Sales of new U.S. single-family homes jumped to a near 1½-year high in March, boosted by lower mortgage rates and house prices.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new home sales increased 4.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 units last month, the highest level since November 2017.
It was the third straight monthly increase in new home sales. February’s sales pace was revised down to 662,000 units from the previously reported 667,000 units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 11.7 percent of housing market sales, decreasing 2.5 percent to a pace of 650,000 units in March.
New home sales are drawn from permits and tend to be volatile on a month-to-month basis. They increased 3.0 percent from a year ago. The median new house price dropped 9.7 percent to $302,700 in March from a year ago, the lowest level since February 2017.