New-home sales up 9.6%

Sales of new single-family houses in January increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, according to data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The rate represents a 9.6% increase over the revised December rate of 427,000, and 2.2% above the January 2013 estimate of 458,000.

The data follows shortly after the bureau reported a 16% decline in total housing starts for the month of January. 

Yesterday, Census also reported the median sales price of new houses sold in January 2014 was $260,100; the average sales price was $322,800. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 184,000. This represents a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.