New homes hit an all-time peak in October

Newly built homes hit an all-time peak in October, new construction data from the Commerce Department show.

Builders started on 1.17 million homes last month, more than analysts predicted, but below the record of 1.19 million set last October.

This comes as a scarcity of homes for sale causes prices to soar. Sales of existing homes fell to their lowest level in 12 years in November. Though inventory of homes rose by 15,000, the supply of homes for sale is still a worry for the future, due to continued demand from new home buyers.

In October, new construction reached 2.67 million, setting a record. But that was below estimates of 2.71 million — due to slower supply.

Analysts expect that new home prices could be on track to rise by 2.5 percent in December, as sales of new and existing homes may have cooled a bit from the hot end of 2018.

Median new home prices have surged 6.4 percent over the past year, according to the median estimates from economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

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