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Sales of New U.S. Homes Rose More Than Forecast to End 2014

A local real estate agent on a tour of homes for sale in Lancaster, Ohio on Jan. 9, 2014

A local real estate agent on a tour of homes for sale in Lancaster, Ohio on Jan. 9, 2014

Photographer: Ty Wright
Updated on

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. jumped in December to the highest level in more than six years, a sign the industry is poised to keep expanding in 2015.

Sales increased 11.6 percent to a 481,000 annualized pace, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the most since June 2008, figures from the Commerce Department showed Tuesday in Washington. Demand increased in three of four regions.