New home sales jump 27 percent from record low

New home sales jump 27 percent from record low

On April 25, 2010, Posted by , In construction,contractors,real estate, With No Comments
(Source: AP) Sales of new homes took the biggest monthly jump in 47 years in March, while orders for most large manufactured products rose by the largest amount since the recession started.
The two reports were a sign that the recovery is picking up speed, and some economists are raising their estimates for U.S. economic growth this year.
“The recovery has been proceeding at a more rapid pace than we thought,” said Zach Pandl, economist with Nomura Securities in New York.
Factories are benefiting from a sharp increase in orders from U.S. and foreign businesses. But the housing market’s fuel is coming from a less sustainable source: government subsidies. Some analysts predict demand for homes will fall again over the summer, preventing the beleaguered sector from adding much to the economic recovery.
The government is offering an $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers and $6,500 for current homeowners who buy and move into another property. To qualify, buyers must have a signed contract complete by the end of next week and need to finish their transaction by the end of June.
Major homebuilders like Lennar Corp., Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. and MDC Holdings Inc. are aggressively promoting countdowns to April 30 or “last chance” sales on their websites.
MDC Holdings, which builds communities in 10 states under the name Richmond American Homes, is also offering to pay closing costs for buyers. But CEO Larry Mizel warned investors Friday, “we remain cautious due to the impending expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit and depressed overall economic conditions.”
Nishu Sood, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said after the credits are gone, “the most likely scenario is that, starting in May, sales will fall off again,” said “You will see a letdown.”
New home sales rose 27 percent in March, bouncing off February’s record low, the Commerce Department said Friday. They rose to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 411,000, the strongest month since last July.  Read More…
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