Saturday, November 29, 2008

New home sales lowest since 1991

New home sales have fallen to an 18-year low:
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 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.


  1. So, if couples or families are looking to buy a house, or refinance this is a good time to do this.

  2. Its not a good time for a family to buy. Wait until summer when the kids are out of school! Couples should wait for a house, so they remain mobile for thier jobs!

  3. "Couples should wait for a house, so they remain mobile for thier jobs!"

    Ahh the NAR in reverse. Remaining moble for your jobs is always a concern. Essentially your argument is that it is NOT EVER a good time to buy!!!

  4. So where can I buy a house in a NICE neighborhood around DC for a 2003-4 price?

  5. There is not a nice neighborhood in DC. So sorry.

  6. I think Anonymous's view is given the unstable economy, mobility to move to where employment might be is paramount. Since it is more stable here, than in most of the country, I disagree with that premise.

    That being said, I believe this avalanche of resets for both Alt-A's and sub-primes is not expected to subside until July 2009, so there is plenty of downside in this market still. DC lags, but the clearest indicator of where prices are going is the supply/demand volume. With the rate of sales at extreme lows, this means prices will plummet, despite currently stable prices.

    Now is not a time to buy in DC...yet.