Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 6.6 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 units, the best pace since June, according to data released in late October by the U.S. Commerce Department.
"The fact that new home sales are finally moving in the right direction - albeit slowly - is definitely good news following an exceptionally quiet summer at builders' sales offices and model homes," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, in a news release. "The road to recovery will be a long one, however, and a key hurdle that must be surpassed is the lack of available credit for new-home construction so that builders can meet improving demand for new homes moving forward."
"Beyond the higher sales figure, another positive piece of data provided by today's report was the number of newly built, unsold homes on the market, which has been steadily declining since the spring of 2007 and fell again to a modest 205,000 units in September," added NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "This suggests that builders continue to prudently winnow down their inventories. That said, the concern is that builders' ongoing difficulty in accessing production credit will keep the razor-thin supply of new homes from being replenished as consumer demand revives, thereby hindering the positive momentum."
By region, sales of new homes increased in the Northeast, Midwest and South and decreased in the West during September.
This article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue.