The housing recovery is on its way in Sarasota, Fl. I attended a Home Builders Association of Manatee-Sarasota Expo last week that showcased the new home styles and new neighborhoods going up all over Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

From a national perspective, new-home sales jumped in January from the previous month to the highest level since July 2008, a sign that the housing recovery is accelerating. We saw a 16% increase in new-home sales in January which was the largest percentage increase in nearly 20 years.

A shortage of existing homes on the market has created a huge demand for new homes. And according to one of the major home builders in our area, the price of a new home is on par with the price of a comparable resale. As a result, builders began construction on the most houses and apartments in four years last year.

Low inventories encourage more construction. At the current sales pace, it will take just over 4 months to absorb the current new homes for sale. Building new homes has a major impact on the economy as each new home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in revenue from taxes according to the National Association of Homebuilders. The industry has increased jobs by 98,000 since September.

Steady job creation and near-record-low mortgage rates are spurring more Americans to buy houses. Sales of previously occupied homes rose to the highest level in five years last year.

At the same time, the number of previously occupied homes for sale is at a 13-year low. That shortage creates more demand for new homes. Builders began construction on the most houses and apartments in four years last year.

Buyers are encouraged by low mortgage interest rates and the expected price increases. Sellers also get off the sidelines when prices go up. This adds to consumer confidence as higher home values also make homeowners feel wealthier and more money is spent.

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