WASHINGTON (2/26/15)--The overall climate for new-home sales remained steady in January, despite a plummeting month for the Northeast, according to the Commerce Department.
While new single-family home sales ticked downward 0.2% in January to 481,000 annualized units, they still came in above the expected, and much larger, decline of 3.5%, according to Wednesday's numbers. Compared with January a year prior, sales were up 5.3%.
Figures for December were revised up to 482,000 from an initial estimate of 481,000, making December the strongest month since June 2008 (The Wall Street Journal Feb. 25).
With colder weather and severe snowstorms in play, new-home sales fell 51.6% in the Northeast. This was the largest monthly decline and put sales in the Northeast at a record low, said Moody's analyst Ryan Sweet (Economy.com Feb. 25). The Northeast accounted for 3% of U.S. new-home sales in January, down from 6% in 2014 and the lowest on record. In other regions, sales rose 19.2% in the Midwest and increased 2.2% in the South. Sales in the West fell 0.8%.