New Homes Sales: 4th Drop in 6 months

Monday, February 27, 2006 | 12:02 PM

No surprise here:

"New-home sales fell for the fourth time in six months during January, while inventories climbed to another record.

Sales of single-family homes decreased 5.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.233 million, the Commerce Department said Monday. December new-home sales rose 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.298 million; originally, December sales were seen at 1.269 million. Sales dropped 7.0% in November, rose 7.7% in October, and sank 2.0% in September and 7.1% in August.

Analysts say the housing sector is cooling after years of record-breaking demand. This view has held despite an earlier report showing January home construction climbed to a 33-year high. The surge in housing starts was attributed to weather -- it was the warmest January on record in the U.S., with an average temperature of 39.5 degrees.

January new-home sales fell 10.8% in the Midwest, 14.9% in the Northeast, and 10.3% in the South. Sales climbed 11.3% in the West."

There were an estimated 528,000 homes for sale at the end of January, which was a record. That represented a 5.2 months' supply at the current sales rate, the highest pace since 5.2 in November 1996. In December, an estimated 515,000 were for sale, a 4.8 months' inventory. An estimated 93,000 homes were actually sold last month, up from 89,000 in December, based on figures not seasonally adjusted."

The key takeaway to me is that Inventory to sales ratio is now at a 9-year high -- 5.2 months while the number of units for sale at a new record. The Affordability Index shows homes are at 15-yr. low. 

Calculated Risk has assembled numerous charts (pretty!) covering the subject; If you want to see more, that's your next click.


courtesy of Calculated Risk


Sales of New Homes Fell By 5% During January
WSJ, February 27, 2006 10:09 a.m.

FEBRUARY 27, 2006 AT 10:00 A.M.
Manufacturing and Construction Division

Monday, February 27, 2006 | 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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Looking at that chart from Calculated Risk, it appears new home sales actually peaked in July . . .

Posted by: GRL | Feb 27, 2006 4:18:26 PM

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