Today’s new home sales data released by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates a slight drop of 1.6 % from January’s figures, but overall presents a market that seems to be holding its own and certainly looks much better than this time last year. February’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 is slightly lower than January’s revised rate of 318,000, but is much above February 2011’s 281,000 figure.
Looking at the week in review: Builder confidence is holding at its highest level since June 2007; housing starts remain up significantly over last year, and building permits have reached levels not seen since October 2008. Existing home sales remain up from 2011 and existing home inventory is the lowest it’s been on record.
Are these all signs of a sustainable recovery or just another “blip” in the market recovery? This remains to be seen, but there are certainly positive signs out there and whether you’re cautiously optimistic, wildly optimistic or waiting for another shoe to drop may depend on what market you’re in – or whether you’re an optimist or pessimist. We’re feeling…hopeful.