Hoboken Homes Gone in 60 Minutes Signal U.S. Recovery: Mortgages

by 25 May 2012
(Bloomberg) -- For the latest sign of a U.S. housing rebound, Toll Brothers (TOL) Inc. Chief Executive Officer Douglas Yearley points to Hoboken, New Jersey: A couple torn between two condos last month at the sales office for its Hudson Tea complex decided to think about it over lunch. When they returned an hour later, both units were gone. “People feel like now is the time to buy and they aren’t isolated to one building in Hoboken,” Yearley said in a May 23 conference call with analysts after the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based luxury homebuilder reported that quarterly orders for new homes surged 47 percent. “Confidence is up. The interest rates are there and they’ve been waiting so long to move on with their lives that they came out this spring.” U.S. homebuilders are reporting their most-improved spring selling season in seven years as record low mortgage rates, job gains, and shrinking inventories are drawing buyers to sales offices that have been quiet since the property market collapse. After dragging the economy into recession, housing is set to“contribute modestly” to growth, according to Vincent Foley, a credit analyst for Barclays Plc in New York. Purchases of new homes in April increased 3.3 percent from the previous month to an annual pace of 343,000, the Commerce Department said May 23. The largest publicly-traded homebuilders reported an average 25 percent increase in purchase contracts in the first quarter, the biggest jump since 2005, according to Barclays. Read full story from Bloomberg

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