U.S. new home sales barely rise in October

U.S. new home sales rise 0.7% in October

The housing market is still struggling to take off.

Sales of newly built homes rose less than expected in October, while September figures were revised downward, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

U.S. new home sales climbed 0.7% last month from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000. Analysts had expected sales to hit around 470,000.

“The slight rise in new home sales in October is somewhat disappointing, as it is more of the same of what we’ve seen throughout 2014 — tepid growth in housing constrained by a slowly recovering economy,” said Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield.

September’s figures were revised down to 455,000 from a previously reported rate of 467,000.

Also on Wednesday, the National Assn. of Realtors released its pending sales index, which tracks signed but not closed contracts for previously owned homes.

Pending sales declined 1.1% in October from a month earlier, as tight credit and weak wage growth held back some buyers, the trade group said.

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