New home sales jump 17.5% in Dec.

WASHINGTON – Jan. 26, 2011 – While 2010 was not a stellar year for new home sales, it ended on a positive note: December home sales rose 17.5 percent over November home sales on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In December, there were 329,000 home sales on a seasonally adjusted basis, strongly surpassing economists’ predictions of 299,000 sales.

While a strong uptick in new home sales marked a positive end for 2010, however, the year ended up as the slowest one on record. The estimated total of new homes sold in 2010 was 14.4 percent below the 2009 level, according to the report.