Newly-built home sales show positive start to the year…

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There was a 3.7 per cent rise for sales of newly-built single-family homes in January compared to a year earlier. Data from the HUD and US Census Bureau shows a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 555,000 units.

“This increase in new home sales is in line with our forecast for a steady, gradual recovery of the housing market,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “However, the pace of growth may be hampered by supply-side headwinds, such as shortages of lots and labor.”

There were 265,000 new homes for sale in January, 5.7 months of supply at current sales pace. The median price was $312,900.

The association’s chief economist Robert Dietz says that new construction should continue to benefit from tight inventory of existing homes and the growing economy.

“We can expect further growth in new home sales throughout the year, spurred on by employment gains and a rise in household formations,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.