New Home Sales Boost at End of 2012 Is Good Sign for Economy, Experts Say

new home sales 2012: open house sign
new home sales 2012: open house sign

The number of new-home sales across the nation increased in November from both the month and year before, and experts say this is a good sign for the economy. Commerce Department data shows sales of new single-family properties bumped up 4.4 percent monthly and 15.3 percent annually during November, as the pace of sales reached 377,000.

Prices also got stronger during the month. According to the report, the median sales price in November was $246,200. Meanwhile, the average price was $299,700. Both figures were markedly higher than levels recorded in October.

"New-home sales are gradually picking up momentum as the economy improves," said National Association of Home Builders chairman Barry Rutenberg. "Prospective home buyers who have been sitting on the fence for years are moving back into the market due to continuing low mortgage interest rates, attractive pricing and the improving economy."

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The NAHB reports its projected year-end total for new-home sales for 2012 is 365,000 -- a figure that would mark a 20 percent increase from 2011. David Crowe, chief economist for the industry group, noted NAHB thinks a similar bump in sales will be seen in 2013, as confidence among buyers continues to grow amid bettering market conditions.

Renters appear to be one particular demographic that will enter the for-sale housing sector in droves, according to a PulteGroup report. More than three in five renters surveyed said they plan to buy a home in the next two years.

Deborah Wahl Meyer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of PulteGroup, stated sentiment is growing among consumers at a steady pace, particularly those who want to construct their own residences.

"Across the board we are seeing more confidence in the market in general," she said. "Also, more families are making a deliberate choice to build a better bond among the generations and live closer to family and friends."

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