By BUILDER Magazine Staff The market for new homes ended the year on a high note, with a 5.7 percent increase to a 946,000-unit rate in December," says Bruce Smith, former NAHB president. "That's the fastest sales pace since March 2001 and signifies a complete rebound to pre-recession activity levels. Additionally, in the year after purchase, buyers average spending is $8,900 on housing-related furnishings and property alterations.