New Home Sales

December 24, 2011 by staff 

New Home SalesNew Home Sales, Led by growth in the South and Midwest, November sales of new single-family U.S. homes rose to the highest rate since April, though overall levels remain low, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for sales of new single-family houses reached 315,000 in November, according to government data, matchinganlysts’ expectations.

While economists have been cheered by improving trends in recent housing data, housing remains weak.

“Despite some modest improvement in recent months, new home sales remain very depressed compared with historical norms,” wrote Andrew Grantham of CIBC World Markets in a research note.

Still, some observers see encouraging signs.

“It is too soon to declare that new home sales are recovering (especially with our misgivings over the construction of the data and the failure to amend the sales numbers for cancellations) but sales appear to have bottomed,” according to an RDQ Economics research note. “We look for a modest gain in new home sales and housing starts in 2012 despite the backlog of foreclosures.”

Meanwhile, sales in October were upwardly revised to a rate of 310,000 from an earlier estimate of 307,000. The pace of November sales was up 9.8 percent from same month last year.

By region, sales for November grew by 12.9 percent in the South and by 7.5 percent in the Midwest. Meanwhile, the rate fell 26.3 percent in the Northeast and dropped 16.9 percent in the West.

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