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

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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
488,000.

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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