From the WSJ:
Sales of newly built homes rose in July to the highest level in nearly a decade, a sign of solid momentum in the U.S. housing market.
Purchases of new single-family homes rose 12.4% in July from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was the highest level since October 2007.
“New home sales soared again,” said Ralph McLaughlin, economist at real estate website Trulia. “This is a continued sign that demand for new homes remains solid in a low interest rate, low unemployment environment.”
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected home sales in July to slow to a pace of 580,000. Sales in June were revised down to a pace of 582,000 from an initially estimated 592,000.
Through the first seven months of the year, new home sales also rose 12.4%, compared with the same period in 2015.
The housing market has been a bright spot in the economy this year. Historically low mortgage interest rates, improving income growth and steady job creation have supported buying of both new and existing homes.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.48% at the end of July, down a half-percentage point from a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.