The home building industry is "getting better but we were very ill, and the convalescence period will be very long," says David Crowe, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders.(Photo: Jessica Brandi Lifland for USA TODAY)
WASHINGTON -- Americans bought new homes last month at the
fastest pace in more than two and a half years, adding to other recent
evidence that the housing market is steadily recovering.
Commerce Department says sales of new homes rose 4.4% in November to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000. That's the strongest pace
since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit boosted sales.
home sales have increased 15.3% in the past year, although the
improvement comes from depressed levels. Sales remain below the 700,000
that economists consider healthy.
Rising sales have kept the
supply of available homes low, which pushes up prices. Only 149,000 new
homes were for sale at the end of last month, just above a record low of
143,000 in August.