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(Best Syndication News) Fewer new homes were sold in 2010 compared to 2009, according to data released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). On a seasonally adjusted annual basis, there were 329,000 new homes sold in December 2010.

They report that in 2010 there were 321,000 new homes sold total. Compare that to 2009 when 375,000 new homes were sold. That is a decline of 14.4 percent.

The median price of new homes sold in the U.S. was $241,500 in December. The median price for new and existing homes was $291,400. They report that at the end of the year there were 190,000 new homes for sale. That is a 6.9 month supply at the current sales rate.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Federal Housing Finance Agency says that home prices were unchanged from October to November.

During the previous period, from September to October 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index was revised downward from an increase of 0.7 percent to 0.2 percent. It was still an increase, but not as much as initially estimated.

Freddie Mac reports that interest rates increased last week (see chart below). According to the Government Sponsored Enterprise, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased six points to 4.80 percent.

Last week the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending homes sales improved further in December. That was the fifth straight month of gains.

Their Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, increased 2.0 percent to 93.7 based on contracts signed in December from a downwardly revised 91.9 in November.

“Modest gains in the labor market and the improving economy are creating a more favorable backdrop for buyers, allowing them to take advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Mr. Yun expects mortgage rates to increase modestly in the months ahead.

By: John Waters
Business Reporter

Freddie Mac Survey Averages Basis Pt Change
20-Jan-11 27-Jan-11   Average YTD One Week
4.74% 4.80% 30-Yr FRM 4.67% 6
4.05% 4.09% 15-Yr FRM 4.07% 4
3.69% 3.70% 5/1-Yr ARM 3.79% 1
3.25% 3.26% 1-Yr ARM 3.71% 1
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