In yet another sign that the housing market and economy continue to strengthen, new home sales hit their highest level in more than six years, according to December estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales of newly built homes were up 11.6 percent over November and 8.8 percent above year-before levels. The improvement, combined with upward revisions to October and November’s estimates, represents a strong end-of-the-year finish for the sector. Overall, new homes sales finished 2014 up 1.2 percent over 2013′s figure. Analysts credit favorable mortgage rates, a stronger labor market, and unseasonably warm December weather across much of the country for the spike in sales. Also in the report, the medians sales price of new homes sold in December was $298,100; the average price was $377,800. At the current sales pace, there was a 5.5-month supply of new homes available for sale at the end of the month. A six-month supply is considered a healthy market. More here.