Sales of newly constructed homes slumped in October to an annual rate not seen since 1991, according to government figures released Wednesday.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new home sales fell to an annualized rate of 433,000 in October. That's down 5.3% from the revised 457,000 annual rate recorded in September, and off more than 40% from a year ago.
"October was definitely another disappointing month for the home-building industry," said Mike Larson, real estate analyst at Weiss Research. But he added that the decline was not surprising given the ongoing weakness in the housing market.
October's sales pace was well below the consensus forecast of 450,000, according to economists surveyed by Briefing.com. And it was the lowest number since January 1991, when the sales rate was 401,000.
The number of new homes on the market decreased in October to an estimated 381,000 from 414,000 in September. At the current sales pace, it would take more than 11 months to sell through the inventory.
The median sales price of new houses sold in October was $218,000, down from $218,400 the month before. It was the lowest level since June 2004, when the median home price was $215,700.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
New home sales lowest since 1991
New home sales have fallen to an 18-year low: