US New Home Sales Hit Fastest Pace Since 2008 Sales of new homes increased 9.6% last month By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Feb 26, 2014 10:18 AM CST 11 comments Comments In this Thursday, Jan. 9. 2014, photo, a sold sale sign hangs in front of a house in Mount Lebanon, Pa. The Commerce Department releases new home sales for January on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (Gene J. Puskar) (Newser) – US sales of new homes rebounded in January to the fastest pace in more than five years, offering hopes that housing could be regaining momentum after a slowdown last year caused by rising interest rates. The Commerce Department says sales of new homes increased 9.6% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000. That was the fastest pace since July 2008. It came as a surprise to economists who had been forecasting a sales drop in January, in part because of a belief that activity would be held back by bad winter storms in many parts of the country. Sales had fallen 3.8% in December and 1.8% in November, leading to worries that the housing recovery could be losing momentum.