Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

New home sales at all-time low

Census Bureau says sales of newly built homes fell 10% in January to the lowest level since reporting began in 1963.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writer

When will the economy begin to turn around?
  • Later this year
  • Early next year
  • Late in 2010
  • In 2011 or after
Mortgage Rates
30 yr fixed 3.60%
15 yr fixed 2.77%
5/1 ARM 2.80%
30 yr refi 3.56%
15 yr refi 2.77%

Find personalized rates:
 

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Sales of newly constructed homes fell 10% in January, sinking to the lowest level on record, according to a government report released Thursday.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000 in January from a revised 344,000 in December. It was the lowest level since the Census Bureau began keeping records in 1963.

Economists were expecting a sales rate of 324,000, according to consensus estimates compiled by Briefing.com.

The report also showed that the median sales price of new houses sold in January was $201,000, down 15% from $232,400 a year ago.

The decline in new home sales comes as builders continue to scale back construction and work off an inventory of empty properties, said Adam York, economic analyst at Wachovia Economics Group.

"We expect sales activity will remain constrained over the coming months as buyers struggle with access to credit and worry about their income prospects and the U.S. economy," York wrote in a research report.

One bright spot: the number of homes for sale at the end of January was 340,000, down from 357,000 at the end of December, according to the report.

Inventory levels have declined steadily in recent months and are now approaching healthy levels, according to York.

"With the prospect of the new home market returning to equilibrium by summer, the existing home market may be able to see improvement in the months thereafter," he said.

Sales fell 28% in the West, where the market was drastically overbuilt during the housing boom. In the Northeast, sales rose 12%. To top of page

Find mortgage rates in your area


Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
World's Top Employers for New Grads For an exclusive CNNMoney list, research firm Universum Global surveyed business students at colleges around the world to see where they most want to work. More
Brexit voices: In or out? CNNMoney speaks to British people to find out their views ahead of the referendum on EU membership. More
10 key facts about the U.S. economy Unemployment is down, gas is cheap and America is growing. But just how strong is it? More