DECK THE HALLS: New Homes Sales Surge 17.5%

FILE - This Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, file photo shows an existing home for sale in Roswell, Ga. On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, the National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in March. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
P Photo/John Bazemore

New home sales surged 17.5 percent in November, the biggest rise since 2007.

Newly constructed homes sold at an annualized pace of 733,000, much faster than the consensus estimate of 650,000. Indeed, sales were so brisk that the blew past the uppermost estimate of 690,000.

Home sales have been brisk in the final months of the year. September saw a rise of 6.2 percent and October 14.2 percent.

New home sales are not just a sign of strength in the housing market. They are also a gauge of overall economic momentum. Construction of new homes adds good jobs and indicates rising incomes for construction workers. New homeowners typically purchase durable consumer goods such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and furniture, creating a ripple effect of added demand through the economy. The sales also generally reflect an economic confidence on the part of buyers.