New homes sales unexpectedly climb to seven-year high

home sales increase

home sales increaseBy Bloomberg News

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in February to a seven-year high as stronger job gains helped bolster industry activity amid severe weather.

Sales climbed 7.8 percent to a 539,000 annualized pace, the most since February 2008, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday in Washington. The reading exceeded even the most optimistic forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Americans withstood weaker income gains and higher property prices, braving a chillier-than-usual February to go out and buy a house last month. Further healing in the labor market and a boost in inventory should provide stronger support to an industry entering its busiest sales season.

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