Census Bureau: New Home Sales Exceed Forecasts

(TheNicheReport.com) Forecasts for new home sales have been exceeded according to the most recent government findings Friday.  This is just another long awaited sign of a recovery to a previously battered housing market.

The Census Bureau reported that the rate of new home sales in January marked a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000.  This was higher than what economists’ had forecasted and up from their reporting in the previous month of December.  It is also worth noting that Census revised their December figures up, to 324,000.  This December revised figure is 6% higher than their original figure.

New homes for sale inventory fell again in January.  This marks the eleventh straight month inventory for new homes on market has remained at record lows.  This slight supply of 151,000 new homes sale for January, helped push prices higher.  Median home prices for new-homes-sold lifted slightly by $600 from December to $217,100.

This ongoing decline in supply of inventory comes even as other government figures have revealed an uptick in housing starts by home builders in recent months.

More signs are showing that the long distressed housing market is finally improving.  Mortgage rates have been at record lows for the last 6 months until a slight increase this past week.  The rate of sales for existing homes in January marked the highest point since the conclusion of the $8K home buyers’ tax credit in 2010.

It is important to note that the large inventory of foreclosed homes still on the market has depressed current home prices. The price of existing homes sold in January declined to a 10-year low. And even with the minor uptick in new home prices for January, prices are still lower than the annual 2010 or 211 average.

Low financing costs, tied with years of price declines and some recent improvements in the job market have made home ownership more affordable than it has been in decades.