News & Resources

Home sales climb but woes over housing market remain

Jan 12, 2012 Philip Burgess

New home sales climbed in November over the previous month, but analysts expect the coming year to be the worst one record, as foreclosure activity from the housing bubble continues to rack values and decay interest in home-buying. According to data released Friday by the Commerce Department, new home sales climbed 1.6 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000. That figure is less than half of what economists project is needed to sustain a healthy housing market. Home-building, or the lack thereof, has been a major factor in the economic slowdown, as construction has slowed and led to 2 million job losses in the sector. A recent FICO poll found most economists do not expect housing market conditions to recovery until the end of the decade. Nonetheless, some economists heralded the housing report for at least being consistent with expectations. "It's still a pretty good number in the sense that it is fitting with some of the other housing numbers we're getting where things seem to be getting a little better," Jim Paulsen, chief investment officer at Wells Capital Management, told Reuters. "More than anything the better tone in housing is very suggestive that the jobs market's improved."