by Rick Delgado
on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 at 2:14pm.
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... If you need some encouragement to follow the advice of the inventor of the automobile starter motor, look to last week's November New Home Sales, UP 4.4% to a 377,000 annual rate, and now UP 15.3% versus a year ago. The new home median price of $246,000 is UP 14.9% over a year ago. And the months' supply of new homes is now down to 4.7, equal to the lowest level since 2005. Economists say new home sales are usually the last part of the housing market to recover, so this is truly encouraging news.
Slightly less encouraging was the S&P Case-Shiller Index, which had October home prices falling for the month in 12 of the 20 cities tracked. But the index still showed a 4.3% gain for the year. The Chairman of the S&P Index Committee said, "Annual rates of change in home prices are a better indicator of the performance of the housing market," as they even out seasonal variations. Pending Home Sales, measuring homes under contract, gained for the 19th month in a row, UP 1.9% In November, and they're now at their highest level in two and a half years!