Housing has been a bright spot in economic news as of late and there is more positive news coming from the housing sector. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is reporting that existing home sales (previously occupied homes as opposed to newly constructed homes) rose in November by 4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million.
While economists say a healthy housing market should be seeing around 6 million sales a year, the data is an improvement over the sales of the past few years, putting 2011 home sales on track to be 2010 sales.
U.S. Census Bureau: New Home Construction Increases
The U.S. Census Bureau is reporting November housing starts (beginning of construction of a new home) are also showing improvement with a 2.3% increase to 447,000 starts, a 2.3% increase over the revised October figure of 437,000. This means that there have been 3 consecutive months of improvement in housing starts.
After months of negative data being released, this data is one more signal that housing may very likely be ready for a turn around in 2012.
Home Builders Confidence Increases
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is reporting that builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes has increased by two points from on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for December. today. This increase marks the third consecutive month of builder confidence improvement.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe:
“This is the first time that builder confidence has improved for three consecutive months since mid-2009, which signifies a legitimate though slowly emerging upward trend,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “While large inventories of foreclosed properties continue to plague the most distressed markets and consumer worries about job security and the challenges of selling an existing home remain significant factors, builders are reporting more inquiries and more interest among potential buyers than they have seen in previous months.”
Pre-Qualification: The First Step in Shopping For a New Home
The first step in shopping for a new home is getting pre-qualified so that you know how much home you can afford. We can help you get pre-qualified and help answer any questions you might have about what type of loan will best fit your needs and whether or not a rate lock makes sense for your situation. If you have questions, we can help with a no cost consultation where we put together a mortgage strategy that makes the most sense for your unique needs.