WASHINGTON Feb 26 New U.S. single-family home
sales surged to their highest level in 4-1/2 years in January
and the month's supply of houses on the market was the smallest
since March 2005, further evidence the housing sector recovery
is gaining muscle.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday sales jumped 15.6
percent to a seasonally adjusted 437,000-unit annual rate, the
highest level since July 2008 when the economy was in the throes
of a recession.
The percentage gain was the largest since April 1993.
December's sales pace was revised up to 378,000 units from the
previously reported 369,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters
had expected sales to rise to a 381,000-unit rate last month.=