New Home Sales Stronger

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Although the housing market was something of a disappointment last year — with flat sales in an otherwise moderately growing economy — some signs this winter point to a resurgence in this crucial sector for the pool and spa industry. (New home sales remain the best opportunity for backyard pool sales.)

Some of the biggest home builders in the U.S. are reporting a strong increase in sales in the latter half of January, citing an improving economy, continued low interest rates and a notable rise in consumer confidence.

Among a number of positive reports, Taylor Morrison Home Corp., a large multi-state builder, reported a 30 percent increase in January, which follows a 24 percent increase in the 4th quarter of 2014. 

“We really saw strength in all of our markets,” said Sheryl Palmer, president and CEO, in a Wall Street Journal story, “We’ve seen that momentum building in mid-December and continuing to build through all of January. It was just phenomenal last week.”

The spring home selling season will now begin in earnest, as home buyers put down deposits anticipating a finished structure and occupancy this summer. Encouraging these new home purchases is a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage standing at 3.66 percent, down from 4.32 percent a year ago as well as a general sense of stability in the economy.

Also, the Federal Housing Administration has moved to lower down payment requirements for entry-level buyers (although that was one of the chief causes of the 2007-2008 housing crisis.)

“The last two weeks have been so strong that the spring is looking really good right now,” said John Burns, chief executive of Irvine, Calif.-based housing research firm John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc., according to the WSJ story, “but there could be a headline that turns this whole thing around tomorrow. It’s just dependent on consumer confidence.”

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