New-home sales slipped in November from a five-year high in October, but beat expectations as the housing market continued to showed signs of vigor.
Sales of new single family homes fell 2.1% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
But that drop-off came after the department revised October’s rate upward by 6.8% from 444,000 to 474,000.
November's sales rate was up 16.6% from a year earlier.
The sales figures come after a string of positive construction numbers, raising confidence that mortgage rates won’t derail the industry's recovery.
“The market is entering 2014 with momentum in new-home permits, starts and sales,” Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia, said in an email. “That's good news for the construction industry and other sectors of the economy that depend on home building.”
Sales fell in the Midwest and South, but rose in the Northeast and West. Sales jumped 31.1% from October in the West.
At the latest sales pace, there was a 4.3-month supply of newly built homes at the end of November. Economists generally consider a six-month supply a healthy balance.
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