Home sellers, it's safe to come out; sales rocket higher

The Census Bureau reports that new home sales rose 11 percent in June over July. The good


news is that new home sales in the Midwest rose 43.1 percent. That's not a typo; here's the bureau's statement:

Sales of new one-family houses in June 2009 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 11.0 percent (±13.2%)* above the revised May rate of 346,000, but is 21.3 percent (±11.4%) below the June 2008 estimate of

The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2009 was $206,200; the average sales price was $276,900. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 281,000. This represents a supply of 8.8 months at the current sales rate.

Existing home sales also have started trending up, according to the National Association of Realtors. Existing-home sales rose for the third consecutive month with inventory
easing and home prices declining less sharply in June, the group said.

I don't suppose that signals the end of the recession, but it sure is good news, in light of the fact that the recession started with problems in the housing market.

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