U.S. new home sales hit 9-month high

Sales of new U.S. homes rose in December by 11.9 percent to an annualized rate of 811,000 units, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. That was their highest level since March 2021. November’s sales rate was revised downward to 725,000 units, from the initial estimate of 744,000 units. A boom in sales in the southern and midwestern states in December more than compensated for a slide in the northeast. Economists polled by Reuters had projected a rate of just 760,000 units.