Americans pulled back sharply from buying new homes in December, but sales for all of 2016 were the highest since 2007.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that new-home sales last month fell 10.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 536,000. But sales totaled 563,000 in 2016, up 12.2 percent over the past year.
Much of the sales growth during 2016 came from low mortgage rates and a steadily improving job market. But 2017 begins with some of that momentum possibly stalling as mortgage rates have risen since the November presidential election, worsening affordability and potentially curbing sales growth as more buyers cope with affordability issues.