Economy: Will Higher New Home Sales Give Obama a Boost?
More reason to believe the housing market is finally on the mend came Wednesday when the U.S. Commerce Department released the numbers on new single-family home sales for the month of September. And somewhere on the campaign trail, President Barack Obama is smiling.
Sales of new homes leapt 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted 389,000-unit annual rate, the highest level in nearly two-and-a-half years. The results eclipsed the 385,000-unit annual rate that experts polled by Reuters had been expecting, signaling that the economy is continuing its gradual march towards recovery. Compared to last September, new home sales are up 27.1 percent.
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Good news for the housing market is more than welcome at the Obama camp, where the election campaign has hit a fever pitch. President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are locked in the final two-week push of what has become a hotly-contested race for the White House. The health of the U.S. economy is a pivotal issue at the forefront of the election, and positive trends like the increase in new home sales should help Obama, who must convince voters his economic policies can be effective.
However, the Federal Reserve is probably most responsible for the recent improvements in housing – the market has been aided by the Fed’s policy of holding mortgage rates at all-time lows.
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