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US new home sales rose in December to set annual record

January 29, 2002
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Sales of new U.S. homes rose 5.7 percent in December, setting a record for the year, the government said, despite the U.S. economic recession.

WASHINGTON -- Sales of new U.S. homes rose 5.7 percent in December, setting a record for the year, the government said this week, as the housing sector registered a stunning performance despite the U.S. economic recession.

New homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 in December, up from a revised 895,000 pace in November, according to the Commerce Department.

December home sales also beat the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who had forecast a sales pace of 925,000 units.

For the entire year, the sales level climbed 2.6 percent over 2000 figures to 900,000 units, above the 877,000 volume for 2000. The annual figure is the highest since the government began tracking these figures in 1963, exceeding the 1998 high of 886,000.

Regionally, December new home sales soared 35.1 percent in the West, but fell in all other parts of the country, dropping 9.6 percent in the Midwest, 1.4 percent in the Northeast and 1.1 percent in the South.

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