US new home sales buoy Wall Street benchmarks

<p>Last year’s property sales helped to buoy the Wall Street indices,</p>

The US's new home sales figures served to buoy Wall Street's major benchmarks at close of play on Friday (January 25th), but it remains to be seen whether this good news will continue to lift the Dow Jones and Nasdaq when the markets open later today.

According to fresh Commerce Department figures, new home sales dropped by 7.3 per cent month-on-month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 369,000.

For the full 12-month period, sales rose by nearly 20 per cent to an annual rate of 367,000, while sales of previously-owned properties climbed to 4.65 million – which is the most in five years.

The US National Association of Homebuilders estimated that each new house built creates an average of three jobs for a full year and generates some $90,000 (£57,000) in tax revenue.

When the markets closed on Friday evening in New York, the Dow Jones rose by 0.5 per cent to an index value of 13895.9 points and the Nasdaq increased by 0.6 per cent to 3149.7 points.

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