New home sales unexpectedly surged 9.6% month-0ver-month to an annualized pace of 468,000.
This was better than expectations for a 3.4% fall to an annualized pace of 400,000.
December’s reading was revised up to reflect a 3.8% fall to 427,000. This compares to an initial print of a 7% fall to 414,000 in December.
The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2014 was $US260,100. Inventory of new home sales was 184,000, which represents a 4.7 months supply at the current sales rate.
Housing starts have fallen and the extreme cold has been weighing on housing data.
But homebuilder confidence also tanked in February and this was in part attributed to a shortage of labour and lots.
Bloomberg economist Michael McDonough tweeted this chart that shows that new home sales have ticked up everywhere but the Midwest: