The Commerce Department today reported that despite a slip in December, sales of new single-family homes topped one million units in 2003, establishing a new record for the third consecutive year. Sales of new single-family houses in December slipped approximately 5.1 percent to 1.06 million units from November's revised rate of 1.12 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "The numbers, while amazing, should not be a surprise to most builders," said Bobby Rayburn, president of the National Association of Home Builders and a home and apartment builder from Jackson, Miss. "The sales pace has been excellent throughout the last six months, primarily fueled by low mortgage rates and strong house price performance, and the market fundamentals are in place for this pace to continue into early 2004." December's rate is 0.8 percent above the December 2002 esti...
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