Wednesday, October 29, 2008

September new home sales down 33% year over year

It was the worst September for new home sales since 1981:
Sales of newly constructed homes rose in September, according to the monthly report from the U.S. Census Bureau, inching up 2.7% from August to an annualized rate of 464,000. ...

But the reading was still the worst September for new home sales since 1981. Sales are down 33.1% from September of 2007, and far below the pace of the boom years. In 2005, for example, 1.3 million new homes were sold.

In response to slower sales, home builders have been reducing their production. As a result inventory has fallen, but there were still about 394,000 new single family residences on the market at the end of September. At the current pace of sales, that would take 10.4 months to sell through.

The median selling price for a new home was $218,400 during the month, down from $221,900 in August, while the mean selling price was $275,500, up from $263,900.


  1. Hi,
    I was reading this article today,
    HBSWK: Financial Crisis Caution Urged by Faculty Panel.
    At one point, one of the speakers, urges the audience to keep and eye on housing prices. So, I went to Google, hoping to find a chart to link to my RSS Feed. I haven't found that chart yet, but I did find your blog. Just want to say, so far, I like what I see.
    Thank you!

  2. If you want to "keep a close eye on housing prices", as the article suggests, I have the charts at

  3. I looked at the charts at

    Prices are down 24% as per that chart, but I think the chart ends around Summer 2008. Now compare that to the last bubble back in 1989 where prices leveled around 1997 after a gradual 20% drop. According to Zillow, Northern Virginia's Fairfax County peaked around $552,000 in January 2006, and now around $430,000. That is a 22% drop over 2 and 1/2 years.

    I've seen Fairfax townhome communities within a mile or tow of the beltway drop 30% from the peak.