New home sales plummeted to a record low in May, the first month following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. This snapped a two-month streak of gains.Of course home sales fell in May. After all, with the tax credit expiring on April 30, who wants to be the sucker who buys on May 1?
New home sales declined 32.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 last month, down from an downwardly revised 446,000 in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Sales year-over-year fell 18.3%.
This is the slowest sales pace since the Commerce Department began tracking data in 1963. The prior record was set in September 1981, when new homes sold at an annual rate of 338,000.
"We expected a slowdown, but the extent of this decline was a surprise," said Anika Khan, an economist at Wells Fargo. The figure was even worse than her relatively pessimistic forecast of an annual rate of 380,000 in May. ...
"Clearly, the lack of a tax credit had a lot to do with it, and it's going to be a bit of a bumpy road ahead as we get a few more months of payback," Khan said.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Home sales plunged in May
Month-over-month home sales fell by a third in May: