Lots of Positive News on New – and Existing – Homes

October 27, 2010

Good real estate news is so nice to have these days, and we have a bunch of it involving the month of September:

*New home sales were up

*New home prices were up

*Existing home sales were up

*New home inventory was down

*Existing home inventory was down

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the sales of newly built, single-family homes rose to an annual rate of 307,000 units in September from 288,000 units the month before.

Father and Son in Front of Their New HomeThat 6.6 percent increase exceeded private-sector expectations of a 4.2 percent increase or 299,000 units sold.

The reality: The past five months have been the lowest for new home sales on record since 1963. A healthy sales pace is around 800,000 new homes.

The positive: The figures were driven by our area of the country.

Sales of new homes in September:

*Grew by 61 percent in the Midwest

*Grew about 3 percent in the South and Northeast

*Fell by nearly 10 percent in the West.

More positive news: The number of unsold new homes on the market fell to 204,000. That’s the lowest level since July 1968.

And even more positive numbers: New home prices are on the rise. For September, the median sales price was $223,800. That is a 1.5 percent increase from August and a 3.3 percent increase from September 2009.

“Today’s data showed relatively strong single-family home sales in September compared to expectations,” said U.S. Commerce Department Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank. “While we’re seeing improvement, the overall housing sector still faces substantial challenges, including the large supply of existing homes on the market, and activity remains at a low level.”

To twist that into a positive note: A separate report released Monday by the National Association of Realtors showed that existing-home sales posted an increase for the second straight month. In September, existing-home sales jumped 10 percent, including 14.5 percent in the Midwest, and the total housing inventory fell 1.9 percent.

Good news all around.

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