After reporting an unexpected decrease in new home sales in the U.S. in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing new home sales rebounded much more than expected in the month of August.
The Commerce Department said new home sales soared by 3.5 percent to an annual rate of 629,000 in August after slumping by 1.6 percent to a revised rate of 608,000 in July. Economists had expected new home sales to rise by 0.5 percent.
The much bigger than expected rebound came as new home sales in the Northeast spiked by 47.8 percent to a rate of 34,000 in August after plunging by 46.5 percent to a rate of 23,000 in July.
New home sales in the West also jumped by 9.1 percent to a rate of 168,000 and new home sales in the Midwest climbed by 2.7 percent to a rate of 77,000, while new home sales in the South fell by 1.7 percent to a rate of 350,000.
The report said the median sales price of new houses sold in August was $320,200, down 2.4 percent from $328,100 in July but up 1.9 percent from $314,200 in the same month a year ago.
The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August was 318,000, representing a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate.
Last Thursday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing existing home sales in the U.S. were unexpectedly flat in the month of August.
NAR said existing home sales came in at an annual rate of 5.34 million in August, unchanged from July. Economists had expected existing home sales to rise by 0.3 percent following the 0.7 percent drop in the previous month.
On Thursday, NAR is due to release its report on pending home sales in the month of August. Pending home sales are expected to drop by 0.4 percent.
A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.