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For December, 2012

New home sales climb to highest rate since April 2010

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/home-sales-climb-highest-rate-150507340.html

New single-family home sales accelerated in November to the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years and median sales price jumped from the same month in 2011, signs that the U.S. housing recovery is gaining some steam.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday sales climbed 4.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted 377,000-unit annual rate.

The annual sales pace for November was the quickest since April 2010.

The median home price of a new home rose to $246,200, up 14.9% from the same month in 2011.

The pace of new home sales is roughly a quarter of the all-time high clocked in July 2005 when a housing bubble was still inflating. Shortly thereafter, the bubble began to deflate, helping trigger the 2007-09 recession, which was the deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

Seattle area sees surge in new homes

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http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019988435_newhomeconstruction26.html

Seattle-area builders are starting to build houses again at a robust rate, though still far below the pre-bust years.

After a long, recession-induced hiatus, Seattle-area builders are starting to build houses again.

It’s another facet of the local real-estate market’s modest recovery in 2012. Sales volume is up, in part because of record-low interest rates. Prices have bounced back from last winter’s post-bust lows.

New-home construction is on a pace this year for its best showing since 2007. Builders and analysts expect that surge, too, will continue into the new year.

Through October, local governments in King County had issued about 3,300 building permits for new houses.That’s up 36% from 2011 — and up a whopping 99% 2009, when new construction hit bottom.

US home sales jump to highest level in 3 years

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U.S. sales of previously occupied homes jumped to their highest level in three years last month, bolstered by steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates (Rates History).

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales rose 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November. That’s up from 4.76 million in October.

Previously occupied home sales are on track for their best year in five years. November’s sales were the highest since November 2009. Excluding that month, last month’s sales were the highest since July 2007.

Sales are up 14.5% from a year ago. Prices are also rising, which encourages more potential buyers to come off the sidelines and purchase homes.

In addition, the excess supply of homes that built up during the housing bubble has finally thinned out. The number of previously occupied homes available for sale fell to a 10-year low in October. The supply of new homes is also near its lowest level since 1963.

The pace of home construction slipped in November, but it was still nearly 22% higher than a year earlier. Builders are on track this year to start work on the most homes in four years.

US builders boost spending 1.4 percent in October

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http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019818528_apusconstructionspending.html

U.S. builders increased their spending on construction projects in October.

The Commerce Department said Monday that construction spending rose 1.4% in October. It was the largest gain since a 1.7%  increase in May.

Housing construction spending jumped 3% in October.

Sales of new homes fell slightly in October, dragged lower by steep declines in the Northeast partly related to Superstorm Sandy. New-home sales were still 17% higher in October than the same month a year ago.

From July through September, residential construction grew at an annual rate of 14.2%. Housing construction is on track to contribute to economic growth this year – the first time that’s happened in the five years since the housing bubble burst.

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