U.S. new home sales near two-year low
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales dropped 5.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 553,000 units last month. That was the lowest level since December 2016. August's sales pace was revised down to 585,000 units from the previously reported 629,000 units.
June and July sales rates were also revised lower. New home sales have now declined for four straight months. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 9.7 percent of housing market sales, falling 1.4 percent to a pace of 625,000 units last month.
In a separate report on Wednesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said its home price index rose 6.1 percent in the year to August. House price inflation is slowing from a peak of 7.7 percent in February as demand slackens, but continues to outpace annual wage growth, currently below 3 percent. ■