There is some hope for the real estate market. According to a report published by the Commerce Department the number of homes purchased in May of 2012 was the highest number in over two years. The number of purchases increased from April to May by 7.6%. That number is the best increase since April of 2010 when the tax credit for purchasing a home was still in effect.

Higher home pricesAreas of Highest Growth

The places that saw the largest increases were the South and Northeast. The number of homes purchased in the South grew by 12.7% while the growth in the Northeast was 36.7%

Although the total number of sales across the country seems to be off pace from the 700,000 transactions favored by economists, the market is showing other signs of improvement.

Strong Signals from the Market

First and foremost, builders have begun to increase production. More construction is always a positive sign, no matter how small the increase. Second, interest rates for mortgages are still at historically low levels making it easy to afford a home. Third, and this is important too, is the stabilization of home values. Most regions around the country have noticed home values finally holding steady. All of these factors have lead to people buying up existing homes, paving the way to build more properties.

More than Just Statistics

The main reason why economists and financial analysts pay so much attention to new construction comes from their overall economic impact. Building a new home normally produces about three new year-long jobs. It also leads to an increase in taxable revenue by an average of $90,000. Although new homes are only 20% of the entire housing market, the numbers above show how constructions helps the economy thrive.

Supply is Down

At the end of May it was reported that a total of 145,000 new homes were on the market throughout the entire country. Based on current sales numbers the market should go through the existing inventory of new homes in about 4.5 months. Economic experts feel that a 6 month supply of new homes keeps the economy healthy. With a lower than average supply it is possible that home prices could go up simply because demand will be higher.

Prices Already Higher

Speaking in general averages, the price of a home bought in May of 2012 was down ever so slightly from the average price in April. However, when looking at sales from one year ago shows that average prices have gone up by 5.6%.

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