US new home sales rise 4.4% in November, adds to housing recovery

27 December 2012 21:57  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new single-family homes rose by 4.4% in November, the US Department of Commerce said on Thursday, a gain that offsets October’s slight decline and adds fuel to the housing recovery.

In its monthly report, the department said sales of new single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 377,000 last month, up from the downwardly revised October figure of 361,000 units.

The November figure was also a 15.3% increase year on year, the department said, indicating that the US housing recovery is well underway.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said this was the highest monthly total since April 2010 when the federal home buyer tax credit expired.

“New-home sales are gradually picking up momentum as the economy improves,” said Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman. “Prospective home buyers who have been sitting on the fence for years are moving back into the market due to continuing low mortgage interest rates, attractive pricing and the improving economy.”

NAHB chief economist David Crowe projected a total of 365,000 new home sales in 2012, an increase of almost 20% year on year.

“The year ahead will see a similar gain as more people who have been sitting on the sidelines decide that it is time to purchase a new home,” Crowe said.

Still, Crowe said failure to address the fiscal cliff could set the housing market back.

The fiscal cliff is about $600m (€456m) in tax increases and spending cuts that automatically kick in on 1 January unless President Barack Obama and Congress can come to an agreement on the federal budget.

The housing market is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives, roofing materials and synthetic fibres.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each new home built represents some $15,000 in chemicals and derivatives used in the structure or in production of component materials.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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