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New home sales up in Las Vegas in 2012

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Analysts say new home sales in Las Vegas improved in 2012, but are still a fraction of what they were during the region's boom years.

A Home Builders Research report cited by the Las Vegas Sun (http://bit.ly/10zTDpn) counted 5,544 new home sales in the Las Vegas valley last year. That's up 42 percent from 2011, when new home sales were at a record low.

The report also says builders sought 5,908 permits last year, which was up 58 percent from a year earlier.

The 2012 home sales are about one-seventh of what they were during the pre-recession peak. Almost 39,000 new homes were sold in the area in 2005.

Home Builders Research President Dennis Smith says the economy is slowly recovering, but says he still recommends caution.