New homes sales up since December 2011

With a large amount of home sales recorded throughout 2012, transactions of new properties have grown, while low mortgage rates have helped make these types of homes more affordable for those buying. A new joint report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau found month-over-month sales decreased in December, but were up significantly from sales in December 2011.

According to the report, sales of new single-family homes reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 in the last month of the year, a 7.3 percent drop from the 398,000 rate recorded in November. Despite the month-over-month slip, transactions of single-family properties grew 8.8 percent above the 339,000 rate recorded the same month a year ago.

The annual rise in sales has helped home prices rise nationwide, and the median sales price of new homes that were sold in December reached $248,900. The average also reached a higher level of $304,000. Though final figures have yet to be announced, the joint report suggests 151,000 new homes were still listed for sale at the end of the year, which brought the supply to a 4.9-month rate.

Overall homes sales are expected to be around 367,000, according to the agencies. Low mortgage rates as reported by real estate records from Freddie Mac throughout the first month of 2013 will likely contribute to higher sales in the new year.



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