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Old 02-28-2007, 09:48 AM
 
5,509 posts, read 15,981,730 times
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Annual pace, below 1 million, posts biggest monthly decline in 13 years; rising glut of homes for sale hits prices.

New home sales saw their steepest plunge in 13 years in January, a government report said Wednesday, as a rising glut of new houses on the market pushed prices lower.

New homes sold at an annual rate of 937,000, down 16.6 percent from the December reading of 1.1 million. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast only a narrow drop to a 1.08 million pace.

New home saless saw the biggest one-month percentage drop in 13 years in January.

The decline in sales hit every region of the country, from a 8.1 percent drop in the Midwest to a 37.4 percent dive in the West. The South, which accounts for more than half of the nation's new home sales, saw January's pace off nearly 10 percent compared to December.

The percentage decline was biggest for a single month in 13 years, since the record 23.8 percent decline seen in January 1994. It is also the sixth largest one-month fall on record.

"Let's cut to the chase - these numbers were ugly," wrote Mike Larson, real estate analyst at Weiss Research in Jupiter., Fla. "While the month-to-month changes in new home sales figures can be volatile, the magnitude of the decline is impressive.

"This speaks volumes about the ongoing weakness in the housing sector. Inventories remain elevated. Housing affordability remains low, historically speaking," Larson continued. "And now, mortgage lending standards are tightening. All of this bodes ill for the 2007 spring selling season. I don't expect a true, lasting rebound in housing until at least 2008."

The January sales pace is the lowest since February 2003, before the start of the building boom that flooded the market with new homes available for sale and put downward pressure on prices and builders' earnings.

The median price of a new home fell 2.1 percent from a year earlier to $239,800, although that was $400 above the December price level. Median is the point at which half the homes sell for more and half sell for less.

The latest median price is down 6.7 percent from the record high reached in April 2006. And the report doesn't capture all the decline in pricing power for builders, since a majority of them are offering extra features at no additional cost, agreeing to pay buyers' closing expenses and other incentives to move houses.

The prices have seen downward pressure from the glut of completed homes on the market available for sale. The report shows a record 175,000 completed homes for sale in January, the eighth straight month that reading has risen to a record level.

The median time it takes a completed home to sell now stands at 4.8 months, the longest wait for builders since July 2001, when the nation was in a recession.

While builders have trimmed the pipeline of new homes under construction and available for sale, the supply of all new homes available for sale stands at 7.7 months, up from a 6.9 month supply in December.

Home builders have been particularly hard hit by the downturn in home sales and home prices. Hovnanian Enterprises (Charts) said Tuesday it expects to report a net loss in the most recent quarter. Toll Brothers (Charts) reported a sharp drop in earnings last week, while KB Home (Charts) reported a net loss in the most recent quarter earlier this month.

Other leading builders reporting weakness in prices and reduced sales include Lennar (Charts), Pulte Home (Charts), D.R. Horton (Charts).

The slowdown in housing has also hurt some major home improvement retailers. Earlier Wednesday, Home Depot said it doesn't expect a recovery in home building and real estate until late 2007 or early 2008, and it warned that its sales and earnings would miss forecasts as a result.

Shares of Home Depot (Charts), a Dow component, were narrowly lower in late-morning trading as other blue chip stocks rebounded after Tuesday's market plunge.

Other economic readings suggest that the weakness in new home sales and prices are being seen in the broader real estate market as well.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors' report on existing home sales showed the sixth straight month of a year-over-year decline in median price, even as the pace of sales picked up slightly.

That trade group's report on fourth quarter sales and prices in the nation's various metropolitan areas also reported the most widespread and deepest decline in prices on record.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:59 AM
 
106 posts, read 696,005 times
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Well I wish all this doom & gloom would lower some prices of homes in Apex / Cary for me!
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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no kidding!! maybe i can cut a deal in march for a new constuction home in Wake Forest!
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 91,665,082 times
Reputation: 39994
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
Annual pace, below 1 million, posts biggest monthly decline in 13 years; rising glut of homes for sale hits prices.

New home sales saw their steepest plunge in 13 years in January, a government report said Wednesday, as a rising glut of new houses on the market pushed prices lower.

New homes sold at an annual rate of 937,000, down 16.6 percent from the December reading of 1.1 million. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast only a narrow drop to a 1.08 million pace.

New home saless saw the biggest one-month percentage drop in 13 years in January.

The decline in sales hit every region of the country, from a 8.1 percent drop in the Midwest to a 37.4 percent dive in the West. The South, which accounts for more than half of the nation's new home sales, saw January's pace off nearly 10 percent compared to December.

The percentage decline was biggest for a single month in 13 years, since the record 23.8 percent decline seen in January 1994. It is also the sixth largest one-month fall on record.

"Let's cut to the chase - these numbers were ugly," wrote Mike Larson, real estate analyst at Weiss Research in Jupiter., Fla. "While the month-to-month changes in new home sales figures can be volatile, the magnitude of the decline is impressive.

"This speaks volumes about the ongoing weakness in the housing sector. Inventories remain elevated. Housing affordability remains low, historically speaking," Larson continued. "And now, mortgage lending standards are tightening. All of this bodes ill for the 2007 spring selling season. I don't expect a true, lasting rebound in housing until at least 2008."

The January sales pace is the lowest since February 2003, before the start of the building boom that flooded the market with new homes available for sale and put downward pressure on prices and builders' earnings.

The median price of a new home fell 2.1 percent from a year earlier to $239,800, although that was $400 above the December price level. Median is the point at which half the homes sell for more and half sell for less.

The latest median price is down 6.7 percent from the record high reached in April 2006. And the report doesn't capture all the decline in pricing power for builders, since a majority of them are offering extra features at no additional cost, agreeing to pay buyers' closing expenses and other incentives to move houses.

The prices have seen downward pressure from the glut of completed homes on the market available for sale. The report shows a record 175,000 completed homes for sale in January, the eighth straight month that reading has risen to a record level.

The median time it takes a completed home to sell now stands at 4.8 months, the longest wait for builders since July 2001, when the nation was in a recession.

While builders have trimmed the pipeline of new homes under construction and available for sale, the supply of all new homes available for sale stands at 7.7 months, up from a 6.9 month supply in December.

Home builders have been particularly hard hit by the downturn in home sales and home prices. Hovnanian Enterprises (Charts) said Tuesday it expects to report a net loss in the most recent quarter. Toll Brothers (Charts) reported a sharp drop in earnings last week, while KB Home (Charts) reported a net loss in the most recent quarter earlier this month.

Other leading builders reporting weakness in prices and reduced sales include Lennar (Charts), Pulte Home (Charts), D.R. Horton (Charts).

The slowdown in housing has also hurt some major home improvement retailers. Earlier Wednesday, Home Depot said it doesn't expect a recovery in home building and real estate until late 2007 or early 2008, and it warned that its sales and earnings would miss forecasts as a result.

Shares of Home Depot (Charts), a Dow component, were narrowly lower in late-morning trading as other blue chip stocks rebounded after Tuesday's market plunge.

Other economic readings suggest that the weakness in new home sales and prices are being seen in the broader real estate market as well.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors' report on existing home sales showed the sixth straight month of a year-over-year decline in median price, even as the pace of sales picked up slightly.

That trade group's report on fourth quarter sales and prices in the nation's various metropolitan areas also reported the most widespread and deepest decline in prices on record.
This may be true nationally, but NOT true for NC

From the Charlotte Observer:
The word for 2006: SOLD

CONTRARY TO NATIONWIDE FIGURES, LOCAL HOUSING MARKET STAYED STRONG

ALLEN NORWOOD
Home Editor

Home sales in the Charlotte region rose 13 percent last year, contrasting sharply with the national slowdown. In Mecklenburg County, sales of homes, condos and townhouses were up by 11 percent.

Nationally, existing home sales took the worst tumble in 17 years, dipping by more than 8 percent.

Prices rose here, too. The average residential closing price through Carolina Multiple Listing Services, which serves Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, was $221,130. That's up about 4 percent. In Mecklenburg, the average sales price rose about 5 percent to $227,502.

The map reflects average 2006 closing prices for single-family sales in Mecklenburg County, sorted by ZIP code.

And you can find more information -- including average sales price for your neighborhood or complex -- online at www.charlotte.com/home (broken link). You'll find sales for Mecklenburg and selected areas in adjacent counties.

The prices here and online are averages for sales through the MLS for 2006. Some sales -- many new homes, for instance -- don't pass through the listing service. In cases where invalid ZIP codes were posted, closing prices are included in averages but individual sales might not be listed properly.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:16 AM
 
106 posts, read 696,005 times
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^ Figures. The one state I want to move into goes the wrong way
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:25 AM
 
25 posts, read 207,644 times
Reputation: 27
Lightbulb I hear you.

Regarding the "cooling down" in the Miami-Dade condo market, hopefully, I will be able to get a deal by end of 2007 - and one that I want. (responding to CNN housing market news)
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,268 posts, read 7,481,252 times
Reputation: 3710
Default apples and oranges

If I'm understanding it correctly the CNN-Money article addresses sales on a monthly basis while the Charlotte Observer lists percentages for the entire year so I can't make a fair comparison. Also, I believe when they about the West they usually mean California. I just read the market in Portland was holding steady.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
3,124 posts, read 11,902,525 times
Reputation: 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCSUAlum2006 View Post
^ Figures. The one state I want to move into goes the wrong way
But it's better for long term growth and stablity. The last thing I want is a boom and bust housing cycle around Raleigh.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:41 AM
 
106 posts, read 696,005 times
Reputation: 83
^ I hear ya loud & clear, just tough on the buying end.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:56 AM
 
50 posts, read 257,804 times
Reputation: 25
I think this area will see a slow down because of people not being able to sell there homes in NY and CA where the market has dropped. Most can't afford homes here if they can't sell there old homes. Overall I think the prices here will continue to rise since there was no housing bubble to bust like in other areas. Steady price increases have kept the Raleigh market affordable and growing. I don't understand how anyone affords housing in CA were a 2 bedroom home cost 500K.
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