While not the strongest growth, the latest government data on new-home sales is good news, the National Association of Home Builders says.
Nationwide new-home sales increased 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 490,000 annual rate in November, according to figures released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau.
"Limited gains in new-home sales can be attributed to a weak existing sales report," said association chief economist David Crowe. "People who already own a house comprise most of the new residential construction market, and they often must sell their existing home before making another purchase."
Sales increased 20.5 percent in the Western U.S., 4.5 percent in the South, but fell 28.6 percent in the Northeast and 8.6 percent in the Midwest.
Tom Woods, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Blue Springs, Missouri, said the report was good news, despite the problems some builders are facing.
"It is encouraging to see new-home sales continue to tick upward," Woods said. "Builders are also increasing their inventory even as they face difficulties accessing lots and labor."