Rising sales spark optimism in housing market - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Rising sales spark optimism in housing market

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ATLANTA -

The government reports that sales of new homes jumped last month to the highest level in five years.

While there is still a lot of uncertainty in the home construction industry, the brighter outlook is rekindling builders' optimism and hiring.

Home building has been a key component of metro Atlanta's economy. It felt the pain of the housing market collapse more than most, but now there are hopes for a revival.

Pulte Homes has several developments in the works in the metro area.

"There is a tremendous amount of demand for new homes, especially in the markets that we're in, which is predominately in-town, infill locations," said David Smith of Residential South Partners.

Smith said he expects to build 25 new homes this year. Three years ago he built two.

"There really isn't much good supply when you're talk about buyers looking for new homes, so it's a good time to be in our business," Smith said.

Nationally, new home sales rose just over 2 percent last month, the highest level since July 2008. Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association expects construction to pick up significantly in the metro area, while remaining well below the peak home building of several years ago.

The uptick is creating a new problem.

"There is a lack of good labor out there, so i would imagine a lot of subcontractors and whatnot are looking for good labor because that is probably one of the biggest challenges right now," Smith said.

Smith said labor is needed for concrete foundation work and house framing.

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