The government offered more discouraging news about the housing sector on Tuesday, reporting that new home sales rose slightly in July only after revising the previous month's number sharply lower.
Sales for July came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 515,000, up 2.4% from 503,000 in the previous month, the Census Bureau reported. Last month, Census had put the June figure at 530,000.
The change marks the fourth of the past five reports that Census has slashed the previous month's number. The trend worries economists who say a hoped-for stabilization of the housing market remains elusive.
"It's concerning because the pattern of revisions from the Census Bureau has been systematically downward instead of random as you'd expect," said David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. "Chances are we'll see some downward revision when they put out the August numbers." ...
Even though sales for the month unexpectedly rose month to month, sales fell 35.3% from July 2007, when new home sales were on an annual pace of 796,000.
The rise in new home sales is also deceptive because of seasonal adjustments. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the report showed only 43,000 new homes were sold in July, which marks the lowest level for that measure since December 1994. ...
The report is the latest sign of trouble in the overall housing market.
On Monday, the National Realtors Association reported existing home sales rose more than expected in July, but prices continued to fall and inventory increased to a record high. Earlier Tuesday, the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index showed U.S. home prices fell a record 15.4% in the second quarter compared with last year.
And according to a new report from the Mortgage Asset Research Institute released Tuesday, the number of fraudulent loans issued during the first three months of 2008 skyrocketed 42% compared with the same period in 2007.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
New Home Sales Fall 35% YoY
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