Sales of new homes plunged to a record low in January, government figures showed Wednesday, as the weak economy and a glut of foreclosed homes continue to weigh on the market.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new home sales plummeted 11.2% to 309,000 last month, compared with a revised rate of 348,000 in December, the Census Bureau said. That's a decline 6.1% from January 2009.
It was the lowest rate since the government began keeping records in 1963 and comes after declines in November and December.
The drop surprised many industry analysts. A consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected January sales to rise to an annual rate of 354,000.
"Some people were expecting a surge in demand because of the tax credit," said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight. "But that surge isn't materializing."
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
New home sales plunge anew
New home sales plunged to a record low in January—And yes, these are seasonally adjusted numbers: