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NEW HOME SALES UP 19.4 PERCENT IN 1992

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- New home sales rose 6.3 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 656,000, bringing the yearly total to 608,000, a 19.4 percent increase over 1991, the Commerce Department reported today.
 "Home sales rebounded sharply last year and 1993 is shaping up as a good year for home buyers," said Robert "Jay" Buchert, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "Mortgage interest rates remain near 20-year lows, consumer confidence has improved, home prices are still attractive and there is plenty of pent-up demand for homes as people postponed buying in the weak years of 1990 and 1991."
 Based ot?hese factors, NAHB is presently forecasting that sales of new single-family houses will reach 675,000 in 1993, up 11 percent over last year and the highest level since 1988, when home sales totaled 676,000.
 The December home sales report marked the first month that the Commerce Department incorporated new methodology in compiling its data on the sale of new single-family homes.
 "Beginning with this report, the government has instituted a number of adjustments to create a more accurate reading of the new home sales market," said Buchert. "The new procedures provide better estimates of houses sold before building permits are issued."
 Nationally, the median price of a new home remained virtually unchanged from 1991, up 0.1 percent to $120,100. However, median home prices posted gains in three of the four Census regions. The Northeast posted the largest percentage increase, up 8.4 percent to $169,000. The West was the only region to register a price decline, down 8 percent to $130,000.
 "With the exception of the Southern California area, which continues to be buffeted by job losses in the key defense and aerospace industries, the rest of the nation's single-family housing market appears to be in pretty good shape," said Buchert.
 Led by a 25 percent increase in the Midwest to 116,000 new home sales posted double-digit gains in every region last year. Sales were up 14 percent in the Northeast to 65,000, rose 20 percent in the South to 258,000 and posted a 17 percent gain in the West at 169,000.
 -0- 2/2/93
 /CONTACT: Jay Shackford of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0406/


CO: National Assocication of Home Builders ST: District of Colubmia IN: CST SU: ECO

KD -- DC033 -- 2065 02/02/93 16:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 2, 1993
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