Sales Rise Despite Market Headwinds by

New home sales ticked up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000 in January, promising a better year for the housing market despite increasing mortgage-interest rates and a slack in housing inventory.

The Census Bureau released its findings jointly with HUD on Friday.

The numbers represent a 5.5-percent hike from those seen in the same month last year.

The uptick in new home sales reflected a 3.7-percent increase from the seasonally adjusted rate of 535,000 seen in December last year.

Median sales prices for new homes bought in January also dipped to $312,900, down from December’s $322,500.

New-home stock fell to a length of 5.7 months in January, down from the previous month’s record of 5.8 months.

In a story for MarketWatch, Andrea Riquier said that website economists had forecasted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 586,000.

“The government’s data on sales of new homes is notoriously choppy and often revised heavily,” Riquier wrote in her story.

“With revisions to prior months, the tally for all of 2016 was cut to 561,000—still the highest since 2007 and a 12-percent increase over 2015,” Riquier added.

Not all the news on Friday was rosy. The news outlet Reuters also reported a decline in consumer confidence.

“It is clear that the economy is moving forward solidly,” Reuters quoted Joel Naroff, chief economist with the Pennsylvania-based Naroff Economic Advisors, as saying.

“Consumers are confident and are buying homes, but builders are not getting their share of that demand,” the news outlet reported Naroff as adding.

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