Sales of newly single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 units in July 2012, up 3.6%, from an upwardly revised pace in June 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
"Sales of new homes in July returned to the same solid pace they set in May, which was the fastest sales rate we'd seen in more than two years," said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, FL. "This is further evidence that consumers are becoming more confident in local housing markets as they look to take advantage of today's very favorable prices and interest rates."
Noting that the three-month moving average of new-home sales has been edging up consistently since September of 2011, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, "Today's good report is the latest indicator of a gradual, upward trend that we expect to continue through the remainder of this year."
Crowe added, however, that "The fact that the inventory of new homes for sale reached an all-time low in July is a worrisome signal that ongoing, unnecessarily tight credit conditions are keeping builders from being able to replenish supplies as consumer demand improves."
After trending downward for six years, the inventory of new homes for sale hit a record low of 142,000 units in July 2012. This is a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace.
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