The Real Deal Miami

Another strong month for new home sales pushes inventory to record low levels

February 24, 2012 04:30PM

Sales of new homes in January decreased from a December crescendo, but remained far above last year’s levels, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Twenty-two thousand new homes were sold in January, for a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 321,000, 0.9 percent less than the adjusted rate from December, but 3.5 percent greater than the rate in January 2011. Outside of December 2011, January’s rate was the highest posted since April 2010 when the homebuyer tax credit was in affect, the National Association of Home Builders noted in an optimistic release on the data.

“This is indicative of the incremental, steady progress that the market is making toward recovery in conjunction with modest economic and job growth,” said David Crowe, chief economist of NAHB.

More good news for builders came in the housing supply data, which showed just 151,000 new homes were on the market in January. That represents a record-low 5.6-month supply. — Adam Fusfeld