The number of new homes sold in December fell for the second straight month, the Commerce Department announced Monday, to a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 414,000 homes. Despite the monthly fall, the annual rate was the best since 2008.
Sales of new homes typically decline during the winter months, and the below-average temperatures experienced by most of the country may be playing a role in the sales declines. The average interest rate on 30-year mortgages also rose significantly in the final weeks of 2013, and may have affected prospective buyers’ ability to afford new homes.
Despite the monthly declines, home sales for the entire year increased 16.4% compared to 2012, marking the second straight year that new home sales increased on an annual basis.