New home sales in December plunged 10.4 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 536,000.
Forecasters were not close to the mark. The Econoday Consensus estimate was 593,000 in a range of 569,000 to 607,000.
Consistently volatile is the well deserved reputation of the new home sales report. December sales of single-family homes plunged 10.4 percent in the month to a far lower-than-expected annualized rate of only 536,000. In a small offset, the prior two months have been revised upward by a combined 14,000 (to 598,000 for November and to 571,000 for October).
The 3-month average is of top importance when looking at this report and here the news is less downbeat. Yet the average is down, 12,000 lower in the month to 568,000 which is the softest reading since June. And the year-on-year sales rate, which had been in the double digits, is now negative, at minus 0.4 percent.