Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 units in September, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This marks the fastest pace of new-home sales in the past five months.
"Today's report highlights the gradual improvement in housing market conditions that is becoming evident in certain pockets of the country, as consumers who can surmount very restrictive lending standards to qualify for a favorable mortgage rate seize on this opportunity to buy," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev.
"The latest numbers also reveal that first-time buyers are driving the new-homes market right now, as evidenced by the volume of lower-priced, entry-level homes under contract. It's worth noting that these consumers are very dependent upon federal policies and programs that support homeownership, such as the mortgage interest deduction and low-downpayment mortgage options that have been threatened by recent government proposals."