WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department reports on new-home sales for November. The report will be released at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday . SALES UP: The forecast is that sales rose a modest 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 450,000, according to a survey by FactSet. HUGE JUMP: In October, sales surged 25.4 percent, the biggest one-month gain in 33 years, to a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 444,000. That gain followed three months of soft sales, leaving the overall level mostly unchanged from spring. The annual sales pace remains well below the 700,000 consistent with a healthy market. MIXED HOUSING: Sales slowed over the summer after mortgage rates rose sharply and a limited number of homes for sale boosted prices. The combination made home-buying less affordable. Mortgage rates remain nearly a full percentage point higher than in the spring. Rates rose in May after the Federal Reserve first signaled that it might slow its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. But mortgage rates have declined a bit after peaking at 4.6 percent in August. The latest average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.29 percent. The National Association of Realtors said last week that the number of people who bought existing homes in November fell for a third straight month. The lingering effects of the partial government shutdown in October might have deterred some sales. But the Realtors are forecasting that sales of existing homes will total 5.1 million this year. That would be the strongest year since 2007, when the housing bubble burst. And the government said builders broke ground on homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million homes and apartments in November. That was the fastest pace since February 2008 and was 23 percent higher than in October. The Fed announced last week that it will begin in January its long-anticipated move to trim its monthly bond purchases. The Fed said it would cut the $85 billion in purchases it has been making by a modest $10 billion . It indicated that further cuts would take place in coming months if the economy keeps improving. Long-term rates could head up after the Fed pulls back on its bond buying.
Most Popular Stories
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- U.S. Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early March
- Vybz Kartel Convicted of Murder
- Elizabeth Vargas' Husband Marc Cohn Addresses Rumors
- Keurig Adds Peet's coffee, Alters Starbucks deal
- Quiznos Files for Chapter 11
- SoCalGas Reaches Record Spend on Diversity Suppliers
- Koch Brothers Step up Anti-Obamacare Campaign
- U.S. to Relinquish Gov't Control Over Internet
- Is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in Andaman Sea?