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New residential sales tick up year-over-year

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 8:27:57 AM

New residential home sales are often a clear indicator of the direction the housing market is headed in, and if recent data is any sign, homeowners and potential buyers have a lot to be happy about.

According to a joint release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, December 2013's new single-family home sales increased 4.5 percent year-over-year. In total, that figure reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000 units sold. However, it is a slight drop from November's total.

In addition, the median sales price in December for new homes was $270,200, while the average was $311,400. The current supply of properties is also at five months, given the sales rate.

David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement that 2014 could continue to be strong because consumers have become more comfortable with residential financing rates.

"December's decline in new-home sales follows elevated levels in the previous two months and means the fourth quarter was still much stronger than the third," added NAHB chairman Rick Judson. "While we expect sales to gain strength in 2014, builders still face considerable constraints, including tight credit conditions for home buyers, and a limited supply of labor and buildable lots."