New home sales in slow recovery

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- New home sales edged higher in September, according to government figures reported Wednesday, but the recovery from the all-time lows reached earlier this year remained slow.

Sales of newly built single-family homes rose to an annual rate of 307,000 units in September from 288,000 units the month before, the Commerce Department said.

The sales figure was higher that the annual rate of 299,000 expected by analysts surveyed by Briefing.com.

But the modest increase does not give "too much cause for hope," according to Celia Chen, a senior director at Moody's Analytics.

"Sales did rise which is good, but the pace is still very weak," Chen said. "It's still close to a record low. It just doesn't seem that demand is really firming."

The August sales were the third-lowest level since the Commerce Department started tracking new home sales in 1963, trailing only the 282,000 rate reported in May, and 285,000 in July.

The government said the median sales price of new homes was $223,800, up from $220,500 the month before.

That was one bright spot, according to Chen, but it might have had more to do with limited inventory than increased demand.

"There are not many of them [new homes] on the market, and inventories are very tight. Builders have just not been putting up a lot of homes," Chen said.

At the end of September, 204,000 new homes were for sale, equal to an 8-month supply at the latest pace.

A separate report issued Monday by the National Association of Realtors indicated that existing home sales climbed for the second month in a row in September. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,814.94 -2.96 -0.02%
Nasdaq 4,758.25 3.36 0.07%
S&P 500 2,067.03 -2.38 -0.12%
Treasuries 2.26 -0.05 -2.16%
Data as of 12:45am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 117.60 -1.02 -0.86%
Bank of America Corp... 17.10 -0.08 -0.47%
Huntington Bancshare... 10.11 -0.07 -0.69%
Kinder Morgan Inc 40.75 -0.04 -0.10%
Ford Motor Co 15.68 0.01 0.06%
Data as of Nov 25

Sections

Jet fuel prices are down about 18% since August, but don't expect a break in your air fare any time soon. More

Retailers are repeating Black Friday deals from year to year, and offering the same discounts at other times. More

Sales of iPads and other tablets are slumping badly in 2014, and won't likely be a big hit during the holidays as they were last year. More

Ever since the Ebola epidemic erupted in her hometown of Foya, Liberia, Deboriah Foko has been working with Doctors Without Borders to inform others about this deadly virus. Here are journal entries from a day in her life. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.