Home Sales Stateside Soar to 10-Yr. Highs

Investors arose Monday from a long Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S. to learn sales of new single-family homes unexpectedly rose in October, scaling their highest level in 10 years amid robust demand across the country, thus offering a boost to the housing market.

Figures released Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department revealed that new home sales increased 6.2% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units last month. That was the highest level since October 2007. September’s sales pace was revised down to 645,000 units from the previously reported 667,000 units.

Economists had forecast new home sales, which account for 11% of overall home sales, falling 6% to a pace of 625,000 units last month. New home sales surged 18.7% on a year-on-year basis in October. They have now increased for three straight months.

Housing south of the border has been constrained by shortages of homes for sale, skilled labour and suitable building land.

Activity was also temporarily restrained by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Housing has been a drag on economic growth since the second quarter. There are concerns that an effort by Republicans in the U.S. Congress to overhaul the tax code could undermine the housing market.