The Commerce Department reports that new-home sales rose slightly in November at the fastest pace since April. Sales were up 1.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000, marking the third consecutive month of gains as the sector tries to head into the new year with some momentum. Nevertheless, volume is well below the 700,000-unit level that economists say denotes a healthy housing market. National Association of Home Builders Chairman Bob Nielsen remains upbeat, though. He remarks, “While the numbers are still quite low on a historic basis, this upward trend indicates that the market is slowly finding its footing and bodes well for the months ahead. Our concern is that overly restrictive lending conditions for both builders and buyers will constrain this growth and postpone the arrival of a recovery in housing and the overall economy.” Also in November, the National Association of Realtors confirms that sales of existing homes hit a 10-month high as inventory sank to the lowest level in six years. Still, the activity is only slightly ahead of 2008’s revised totals — the worst in 13 years. | Read More