Sales of newly built, single-family homes edged up 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000 units in November, according to newly released figures by the U.S. Commerce Department. This marks the third consecutive monthly gain in new-home sales and the fastest pace of such activity since April.

“With today’s report, we have now seen three straight months of modest gains in sales, starts and builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes,” says Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev.

“Extremely favorable mortgage rates and prices are starting to lure buyers back to the market in select areas of the country where the economy is strengthening,” adds NAHB senior economist Robert Denk. “As a result of this improving demand and the limited amount of new construction that is taking place, inventories of new homes for sale continued to fall to another all-time record low in November.”

Regionally, new-home sales were mixed in November. The South and Midwest posted gains of 12.9 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, while the Northeast and West posted respective declines of 26.3 percent and 16.9 percent.

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