New home sales rose 5.5 percent in November, but sales continue to rise from historically low levels. Prior month’s data were revised downward with August setting a historic low at a pace of 274,000 units.

The overall inventory of new homes fell to 197,000 units, the lowest level since 1968. The pipeline of new housing also remains at depressed levels with only 86,000 new homes currently under construction and 28,000 homes not started yet. Builders remain reluctant to increase inventories as the oversupply of existing homes continues to compete with new home sales. The housing recovery will be agonizingly slow.

Source: US Department of Commerce, NAHB and Wells Fargo Securities