New home sales rise 1.5 percent

National groups: Report indicates industry continues to make headway

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000 units in March, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This is the second-best sales number we’ve seen since early 2010, and a good sign of the continued, gradual headway that our industry is making toward recovery as more buyers jump off the fence in time to take advantage of today’s low interest rates and prices,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.

“The latest sales report is right in line with our forecast for continued, modest increases in home prices and sales through 2013,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “At this point, we are about halfway back to what would be considered a ‘normal’ level of sales activity as challenges related to supplies of credit, building materials, lots and labor are slowing the pace at which builders can build and sell new homes.”

Regionally, new-home sales activity was mixed in March, with the Northeast and South posting double-digit increases and the Midwest and West posting corresponding declines. Sales gained 20.6 percent in the Northeast and 19.4 percent in the South, while falling 12.1 percent in the Midwest and 20.9 percent in the West.

The inventory of new homes for sale held virtually unchanged at just 151,000 units in March, which amounts to a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

Building permits in Cole County

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The following are the number of Cole County building permits approved during the past 10 years. This includes not only single- and multi-family structures, but all other structures that require permits, including barns, sheds, garages, cell towers, manufactured homes, major remodels/additions of commercial, residential, schools, etc.

2003: 435

2004: 420

2005: 344

2006: 335

2007: 284

2008: 211

2009: 207

2010: 187

2011: 190

2012: 199

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