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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Sales of newly constructed single-family homes spiked 11% in June to an annualized rate of 384,000 homes, according to a report released Monday.
The gain over May was much greater than expected. A consensus of housing industry analysts had forecast seasonally adjusted sales of 352,000, according to Breifing.com.
However, sales are still 21% below the levels of a year ago, when new homes sold in June at an annualized rate of 488,000, according to the report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Four years ago, during the height of the housing boom, the sales rate for June was 1,374,000, nearly three-and-a-half times higher than last month.
Still, the report was very positive, according to Peter Morici, an economics professor at the University of Maryland who had forecast June sales to be at the 350,000 level. "That is really good news. Considering what's going on in existing home sales, with all the foreclosure activity sending down home prices, for new homes to jump like that is a good indicator that the economy is bottoming out."
Canoes are a fantastic investment for the fun you get out of them. If you take care of them, they'll last for decades, and no matter where you go, it's always a different experience. On a lake, you'll want to make sure you have a good keel (the keel is the ridge that runs along the center line on the bottom of your canoe), so you can paddle in a steady direction when the wind blows up. You'll also want some stability, which mean a wider beam. If you have a bothersome back, you'll want a backrest for the seating, or you can get sore pretty quickly.
If you plan to use your canoe on both lakes and rivers, it's wise to have a smaller keel so you can turn more quickly on the rivers. On the other hand, if whitewater's your thrill, you're probably best off to get two different canoes. In whitewater, ABS is better, and no keel at all will help you to turn quickly when you need to. As a rule of thumb, get a more pronounced keel for slower water, and a smaller keel or no keel at all for fast water and rapids. Fiberglass is great for riffles and flatwater rivers, and in ponds or lakes. ABS is recommended rocky rivers, whitewater and rapids.