Sales of new homes surge 4.8% in August

NEW YORK — Demand for new homes continues to surge despite an ongoing pandemic and lingering anxiety about the U.S. economy. The pace of sales have now reached levels last seen before the Great Recession in 2006.

Sales of new homes in August rose by a very strong 4.8% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million units, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Thursday. The jump followed a new home sales spike in July of 13.9%.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. this spring quashed sales, but not demand. The pace picked back up in the summer, driving home prices in many places to record highs.

In addition to pent up demand, record low mortgage rates appear to be driving sales far more strongly than most economists had anticipated.

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