Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New-Home Sales Rose in April

A surprising market statistic was released for April: New-home sales rose 3.3%

For the short-term, this isn't necessarilly good news. The housing market is still in a slump and perhaps we haven't seen the worst of it yet, but there are some glimmers of hope:

One bright spot is that inventories decreased. The supply of homes at the current sales rate dropped to 10.6 months' worth from 11.1 months in March. The number of homes completed and waiting to be sold decreased to 181,000, the fewest since July.

Purchases rose in three of four regions, led by a 42 percent jump in the Northeast. They increased 8.3 percent in the West and 5.8 percent in the Midwest. Purchases dropped 2.4 percent in the South.

Sales of previously owned homes, which account for about 85 percent of the market, fell 1 percent in April, and the supply of unsold properties reached a record, the National Association of Realtors said last week.

New-home purchases, which make up the remaining 15 percent of the market, are considered a timelier indicator because they are based on contract signings. Resales are calculated when a contract closes, usually a month or two later.

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