Sales of new single-family homes rose 17.5 percent in December, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The surge brought sales to their highest level in eight months. The median sales price for a new house also increased, rising from $215,500 in November to $241,500 in December. At the current sales pace, the number of new homes on the market represents a 6.9-month supply, down from 8.2-months. More here and here.