This afternoon brought some encouraging news for those in the new homes market. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index rose to 17 in February, up from 15 in January.  This was the first gain in five months.  One year ago the index was 9; it hit a low of 8 in January 2009.  (The index assesses builders’ perceptions of current new homes sales, sales expectations for the next six months and traffic of prospective buyers.)
Custom home builder Susanne Tauke, president of New American Homes and owner of Newport Cove, a waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes near Antioch, IL, agrees with the report. “Since the first of the year,” she said, “we definitely have seen an upswing in activity.  Interest rates are low, prices are competitive and there is pent-up demand.  Because of the recent economic conditions, people have postponed new home purchases. It now seems as if that trend is changing.  People are simply tired of bad news and want to move past it.”
Tauke recalls similar situations at the beginning of the 1980s and 1990s.  “Then, too, the economy was in the doldrums.  No one was buying custom homes. Suddenly, sales picked up and Americans started moving again.  The new homes market can change quickly. Those who act ahead of the trend often get the best deals in selection and incentives.”

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