New home sales surged 11.6 percent in December to a 481,000 annual rate!! With a solid S&P Case-Shiller report, there’s further evidence of price appreciation as the median rose 2.2 percent in the month to $298,100 for a solid year-on-year rate of plus 8.2 percent.

Though there were 2.3 percent more homes on the market in December, totaling 219,000, the gain in sales drew down supply relative to sales to 5.5 months from 6.0 months in November. The draw in supply is a negative for January sales but a positive motivation for builders to bring new homes on the market.

Regional sales data show a major 17.7 percent surge in the South which is by far the largest region for home sales. The Northeast, which is the smallest region, also shows a gain while the Midwest and West show declines.

Low mortgage rates and improvement in the jobs market may finally be giving the housing sector a long-needed lift.