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U.S. purchases of new homes declined more than projected last month and were revised down in the prior period, showing the market returned to a less exuberant pace as the year drew to a close, according to government data Thursday.

Highlights of New-Home Sales (December)

Single-family home sales fell 9.3% m/m, the most since Aug. 2016, to 625k annualized pace (est. 675k) after 689k rate (revised from 733k) Median sales price increased 2.6% y/y to $335,400 Supply of homes at current sales rate rose to 5.7 months from 4.9 months; 295,000 new houses were on market at end of December Purchases totaled 608k in 2017, up from 561k a year earlier

Key Takeaways

The strongest annual sales in a decade reflect an improvement in fundamentals including robust job growth, historically low mortgage rates and a boost in home-equity values.

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