Here’s some good news regarding the economy.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department, sales of new homes rose in March to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 417,000. Now before you get carried away and think the housing market has fully recovered, most economists feel the pace of new home sales should be at 700,000 annually. That means the housing market isn’t totally back.
But the pace is ahead of last year’s sales of 352,000 and February 2013’s of 411,000, and economists agree the housing market is likely to remain a major contributor to economic growth this year.
Near-record low mortgage rates and an improving job market are driving more Americans to purchase houses. A rise in demand is helping to increase sales and prices of homes in most markets. The biggest housing gains were in the Northeast (20.6 percent) and the South (19.4 percent) while the West (20.9 percent) and Midwest (12.1 percent) sustained the most dclining sales.