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Another month, another round of housing numbers. Today’s big news is that new home sales were up 11 percent nationally in June over the previous month’s numbers. Let’s keep thing in perspective though:

The good news:

  • Sales of new homes in the United States posted their largest monthly gain in nearly eight years in June…” (TheNew York Times)
  • A government program is working! “The uptick in new home sales was a pleasant surprise and probably reflects the impact of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, which expires in November…” (The Washington Post)
  • “The figures were the latest evidence that a three-year slump in the country’s housing market was leveling off as prices fell back and some builders and buyers began to step tentatively back into the market.” (The New York Times)

The bad news:

  • Sales rose in the Northeast, Midwest, and West. But sales fell in the South. The Washington DC region is included within the South. (The Washington Post)
  • There are still too many homes available for sale for real competitiveness in the market: “The number of completed new homes for sale, which is also dropping, however, fell to 128,000—in a “normal” market, this figure would be below 100,000. In other words, inventory is still too high.” (IHS Global Insight)
  • Selling a house is still not a cinch! “Although the market for new homes is improving, selling a new home has never been harder. The median time that a new home sits on the market before selling rose to an all-time high of 11.8 months.  The number is rising because builders must cover their costs, and do not have the option of selling homes at “fire sale” prices.” (IHS Global Insight)
  •  “Sales of new homes were still down 21 percent from June 2008…” (New York Times) 

Image by Meknit, Flickr Creative Commons