New Home Sales: Lowest Reading Since 1995

I’ve been on calls all morning, didn’t get a chance to follow up with the New Home Sales. Here are some highlights from the data:

February 2008 saw a drop of 1.8% from January 2008 (±15.0%) in terms
of seasonally adjusted, annualized data; This was not a statistically
significant number, given the margin of error.

Year-over-year, the drop
was 29.8% below the February 2007 data (±9.6% means this is
significantly significant). 

Sales have fallen four months in a row

The Median and Average sales price of new houses in February 2008 was $244,100 and $296,400 respectively. Median sales price fell 2.7% in the past year to $244,100.

Sales of new homes in the United States fell to a 13-year low 

Sales figures are overstate due to the omission of the "ballooning number of sales that have been
cancelled."

February’s supply of new homes on the market hit a 27-year high; Inventories are likely understated, also because of cancellations.

The pace of sales has slowed, leading  Inventory
represented a 9.8-month supply at the February sales rate, unchanged
from January and the highest since 1981.

The number of completed homes for sale fell for the second straight
month, standing at 188,000 after peaking in December at 197,000. 

• A few pieces of encouraging data: The number of homes on the market dropped by 2.1% to 471,000, the
lowest since July 2005. Also, s ales in January and December were revised modestly higher;

 

Check out the two charts below:  I particularly like the cool chart from Brian Jacobs, pricing Median Home Prices in terms of Gold (ounces):

Homesgold_oz_2

New_home_sales_32608

Courtesy of Barron’s Econoday

>

Sources:
NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN FEBRUARY 2008   
Commerce Dept, March 26, 2008 
http://www.census.gov/const/newressales.pdf

New-home sales fall to 13-year low
Rex Nutting
MarketWatch, 10:53 a.m. EDT March 26, 2008
http://tinyurl.com/ypec47

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