With growing job losses and an economy officially in recession, sales of new single-family homes slid further in November, according to data released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
New-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 407,000, a decrease of 2.9 percent from October, and a staggering drop of 35.3 percent from November of 2007. It was the lowest sales rate since January 1991, according to Census Bureau records.
The median sales price of new homes sold in November was $220,400; the average sales price was $287,500. While both those numbers were decreases from a year earlier, they showed slight increases from the previous month. The median house price was up 2.7 percent from October; the average price was up 2.9 percent.
Regionally, seasonally adjusted month-over-month sales saw increases of 14.3 percent in the Northeast and 11 percent in the West. Month-over-month sales in the South dropped 7.1 percent; in the Midwest, sales were down 16.4 percent.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 374,000. At the current sales rate, this represents 11.5 months of supply. The monthly supply has stayed stubbornly above the 11-month mark for most of the year, the longest recorded period for that rate.
Pat Curry is senior editor, sales and marketing, at BUILDER Magazine.