Jan. 28, 2013 – New-home sales slowed in December on a monthly basis, but overall sales for 2012 marked the strongest showing since 2009 and the first annual gain since 2005.
NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman said the 2012 improvements can be attributed to record-low mortgage rates, an improving labor market and pent-up demand. “Long-term trends indicate that the housing market is recovering, though tight lending standards are still constraining sales, which are significantly below the level that analysts consider to be a healthy market,” he said.
New-home sales slowed 7.3 percent from an upwardly revised 398,000 to 369,000 units, annualized, in December. Sales were up 8.8 percent from a year ago.
Months of available inventory increased to 4.9 months of supply in December from a revised 4.5 months of supply in November. The number of unsold homes left on the market increased to 151,000 units, down 0.7 percent on a year-ago basis, Christman noted.
The median new-home price increased from $245,600 in November to $248,900 in December on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. It was up from $218,600 a year ago.
Christman said that the housing market is “expected to continue on an upward trend in the new year as the employment situation improves and mortgage rates remain low.”
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