US new home sales jump to fastest rate in 2½ years

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2012 at 11:19 am •  Published: December 27, 2012

Builder confidence rose this month to its highest level in 6½ years, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo survey released last week.

The pace of home construction is nearly 22 percent higher than a year earlier, according to government data. Builders are on track this year to start work on the most homes in four years.

There have been other signs of a recovery in the housing market.

Home prices are also increasing. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller national home price index released Wednesday increased 4.3 percent in October compared with a year ago. That's the largest year-over-year increase in two and a half years. And prices rose for the 12-month period in 18 of the 20 cities tracked by the index.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose to the highest level in three years in November, the National Association of Realtors said last week.

Though new homes represent only a small portion of the housing market, they have a disproportionate impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to statistics from the National Association of Home Builders.

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