Commerce Dept.: New Home Sales Slip 2.2 Percent in December

The National Association of Home Builders is reporting that, following three consecutive months of gains, sales of newly built, single-family homes edged down 2.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 units in December, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Commerce Department.

 "December's small decline in new-home sales follows three consecutive months of gains and means the fourth quarter was still stronger than the third," noted Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "The bottom line is that, while 2011 was the worst year for new-home sales on record, signs of gradual improvement began to emerge near the end of the year across a growing number of markets. This nascent recovery should continue to gain strength in the year ahead as more buyers take advantage of the very good deals that out there for newly built homes."

NAHB is forecasting that new-home sales will rise 18 percent in 2012 following a 7.3 percent dip to the lowest number in the history of the government's recordkeeping (302,000 units) in 2011.

For more analysis, read the full story on the NAHB site, here.