Americans stepped up their purchases of new homes at the fastest pace in more than 25 years in November, with sales skyrocketing 17.5 percent amid robust demand and a continued shortage of existing homes on the market.
New home sales last month jumped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000 units compared to 624,000 in October, the Commerce Department said Monday. That's the biggest monthly gain since January 1992 and the most homes sold in a month since July 2007, just months before the economic downturn.
The sharp upswing is a sign of the strong demand from would-be homebuyers amid the strengthening economy. Sales of new homes can be volatile on a monthly basis, but purchases have climbed 9.1% year-to-date and outstripped the increase in construction of single-family houses.
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.