Positive December Housing Numbers

by bkrigbaum@solagroup.com

Housing statistics for December 2010 on a whole showed positive signs.
The National Association of Realtors released its pending home sales
results for the month which experienced a slight increase of 2.0
percent over the previous month of November. While these sales are
still below December 2009 sales by 4.2 percent, it’s a move in the
right direction.

“The latest pending sales gain suggests activity is very
close to a sustainable, healthy volume of a mid-5 million total annual
home sales.  However, sales above 6 million, as occurred
during the bubble years, is highly unlikely this year,” said NAR Chief
Economist Lawrence Yun in the release.

The U.S. Department of Commerce also released improved numbers for
December in regards to housing permits. These increased 16.7 percent in
December. However, housing starts experienced a decline of 4.3 percent.
On closer look at these numbers, it exposes the single-family sector as
the cause for the decline (9 percent), while multifamily experienced an
increase of 17.9 percent. According to the National Association of Home
Builders, the multifamily sector experiences a much more drastic change
in housing starts number by month.

“The latest government report indicates
that builders are preparing for an anticipated improvement in buyer
demand in the spring buying season by pulling more permits in hopes of
soon replenishing the very tight inventory of new homes for sale,” said
NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen in a release.

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