Current government data shows that there is a steady increase in job creation. This, in turn, provides reassuring signs that housing is on its way to recovery. Certain aspects in the workforce are allowing for a growth in home sales. Fewer unemployment claims, steady job growth, and fewer layoffs are all economic signs that are helping strengthen housing growth.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 to 340,000, a level consistent with firm job growth. The Labor Department stated on May 23 that the four-week average of jobless claims is 9% lower than last November, almost reaching the five-year low of 338,000 in the first week of May. This decline in claims has corresponded with steady job growth over the last six months.
With the decline in unemployment claims, and in layoffs, more Americans are encouraged and motivated to buy homes. The Commerce Department said Thursday that the sales of new homes were up 2.3% from March. Also, due to such high demand, construction of new houses and apartments topped one million for the first time since June 2008. The high demand, along with fewer homes for sale, is driving up prices in most markets. The median price of a home sold in April was $271,600, the highest level on government records dating from 1993.
Meanwhile, the existing home sales were up last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. The seasonally adjusted rate for April was at 4.97 million, the highest level in three and a half years. The home sales price was 8.3% higher in April than in March and 13.1% higher than the previous year.