Sales of new, single-family homes hit a five-year high in January.
Existing home sales dropped to the lowest level in a year and a half.
Unusually cold weather is partly to blame for a severe drop in builder confidence.
The housing recovery proves its staying power in 2013.
Reflecting an improving market, home values jumped nearly 12 percent for most of 2013.
Investors are buying bank-owned and foreclosed homes before prices rise further.
Confidence in new, single-family home construction is high heading into next year.
Buyers don’t seem fazed by higher mortgage rates as home sales surge.
California saw the biggest decline in signed home contracts, while the Northeast gained.
In a market with tight inventory, California homes are selling the fastest.