Economic Report: New home sales soar to highest level since 2007

The numbers: Sales of newly-constructed homes in the U.S. soared 7.9% on a monthly basis in January to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 764,000, the government reported Wednesday.

That figure represents the highest pace of new home sales since July 2007, making for a new cycle high for the housing market. On an annual basis, new home sales were up 18.6% compared with January 2019.

Additionally, the government adjusted its figures for previous months. The December rate of new home sales was revised upward to 708,000, while the rate for November was readjusted lower to 692,000. The new home sales report, because of its small sample size, is prone to significant revisions like these.

What happened?: On a monthly basis, sales increased the most in the Midwest, where they rose 30.3%, followed by the West (up 23.5%). In the Northeast, new home sales increased a more modest 4.8% between December and January, and they dropped 4.4% over that same time frame in the South.