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Builders Selling Well
New home sales surged forward in January and inventories dipped to their lowest in 8 years as housing demand continues to return. On an annual seasonally-adjusted basis, new homes sold at a 437,000 pace in January, up 15.6% from December and 28.9% from a year ago. The improvement was broad based in all four regions. The surge in sales and already low inventories reduced the month’s supply to 4.1 months, the lowest since March 2005.
Sales rebounded in the Northeast from a low in December because of the after-effects of Sandy and also advanced 45% in the West as California and Arizona markets in particular rebound from very low sales levels.
Inventory levels remain very low at 150,000 homes and only 43,000 that are completed and ready to be occupied. In a typical year, the current US competed supply would be a normal year’s sale volume in a single large metropolitan area.