**The PRESS has been highlighting housing during this recovery.....read to bottom chart
Tale of 2 realities
Purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly decreased in December, a blemish as the industry wrapped up its best year since 2009 to emerge as a bright spot for the economy.
The 7.3 percent drop in December sales to a 369,000 annual pace followed the prior month’s 398,000 rate that was faster than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Builders sold 367,000 homes in 2012, the most in three years and the first annual increase in seven.
Construction of new properties rose last month to a 954,000 annual rate, the fastest pace since June 2008, according to Jan. 17 Commerce Department figures. Photographer: David Paul Morris/BloombergJan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Shiller, a professor at Yale University and co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values, talks about the global economy and the U.S. housing market. He speaks with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television's "Surveillance" on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Source: Bloomberg)
“2013 will show more of an increase in prices and more positive sales activity and housing starts,” said Anika Khan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, a unit of the biggest U.S. mortgage lender. “We expect to see residential investment adding to growth despite a very sluggish overall pace of economic growth.”
Here's your "bright spot" and recovery