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New US single-family home sales jump in December

[WASHINGTON] New US single-family home sales surged in December, the latest indication that the housing sector remains on firmer footing despite a massive stock market sell-off and slowing economic growth.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales increased 10.8 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 units. November's sales pace was revised up to 491,000 units from the previously reported 490,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales edging up to an annual rate of 500,000 units last month.