New Home Sales Soar 17.5% For December 2010
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released estimates of new single-family houses sold in December 2010. Sales were at an annual unit rate of 329,000, an increase of 17.5% above the revised November rate of 280,000. However, sales were still 7.6% lower than December 2009’s estimate of 356,000. The South sold the most units, with 168,000 in sales, followed by the West with 110,000 in sales.
$241,500 was the median sales price of new houses sold in December 2010 with the average sales price $291,400. There was an estimated 190,000 new houses for sale at the end of December, which is a 6.9 month supply at the current sales rate.
Total new home sales for 2010 were estimated at 321,000, which is 14.2% below the 2009’s sales of 375,000.
According to Reed Construction Data, "The multifamily market is currently at the 2010 average for monthly housing starts but December multi family permits were the highest in several years and nearly double December starts. This surge is due to apartments; the condo portion of the multi family market, like the single family market, remains stuck at the cyclical low level for the recession.
Apartments are now the preferred investment for commercial real estate investors. Both rental and occupancy rates have increased slightly. The number of rented apartments is increasing in line with rising employment over the past year. Households decouple and need a second apartment a few months after the unemployed relative or friend gets a job...
While housing will be fastest expanding construction sector is the next few years, the recovery will take an unusually long time to get back near the pre-recession level after an 80% decline due to several unique aspects of this business cycle. The key headwinds in this cycle are the unprecedented collapse in home prices, the concern among many households about their bill for the Obama agenda and difficult credit access for homebuilders...
As many as 15,000,000 households have been removed from the pool of potential homebuyers. About half were only briefly in the pool when sub-prime mortgages were available. The other half can not get a mortgage because of a current underwater mortgage, a drop in their credit score during the recession or tighter credit approval standards.
Similarly, homebuilders are often unable to get land and development credit for similar reasons."
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