WASHINGTON -- Sales of newly built, single-family homes increased 5.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 290,000 units in November, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Commerce Department.

According to the National Home Builders Association, the gain represents a partial bounce-back from a near-record low, downwardly revised number of new-home sales in October.

"While builders continue to face a great deal of competition from short-sale and foreclosure properties, the improvement registered in new-home sales in November is a good sign," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, MI.

The improvement in new-home sales was driven by gains in two regions in November. The South, which is the nation's largest housing market, posted a 5.8% gain, while the West showed a 37.3% rebound from the previous month. Meanwhile, declines of 26.7% and 13.2% were registered in the Northeast and Midwest, respectively.

The inventory of new homes for sale fell to 197,000 units in November, marking the first time in 42 years that this measure has fallen below the 200,000 level. This amounts to an 8.2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Read more about November new-home sales.

 

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