Market Watch: Housing Sector Continues Rebound

Sales Rise 8.3%

Housing MarketUndaunted by escalating mortgage rates, sales of new single family homes in the U.S. sprang to a five-year high in June, the Department of Commerce reported yesterday. Rising 8.3%, the sales tally reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000 units, the highest mark since May of 2008.

The strong June figures outpaced the projections of analysts and built upon a May in which sales increased 1.3%. Last month's sales were 38.1% higher than June of 2012 – the largest comparative increase since January of 1992. Analysts said the third straight month of gains in new home sales indicates that the housing sector is growing and should assuage concerns that increasing mortgage rates will cause the market's economic steam to evaporate.

In the ad specialty world, distributors with clients in the housing arena are feeling the positive effects of the sector's renewed health. For example, a preferred vendor with Keller-Williams, Black Duck Inc. says realtors for the leading nationwide agency have been snapping up everything from imprinted polos to padfolios. "We're certainly seeing increased interest and larger orders," Black Duck e-commerce manager Erich Campbell told Counselor.

Black Duck first saw an uptick in realtor-related sales last year when it sold out of items at trade shows for Keller-Williams' realtors. With another trade show upcoming, Black Duck is increasing stocks for the event. Campbell says embroidered hats and polos, bags, padfolios, notepads, nametags, keychains, balloons, and stamped metal license plates are among items realtors desire. "Everyone," he said, "seems to be gearing up."