New home sales fall in December — unexpectedly?

Reports the Washington Post:

Sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes fell unexpectedly in December, data showed on Wednesday, the latest indication that the government-led housing recovery might be losing some steam.

The Commerce Department said sales fell 7.6 percent to a 342,000 unit annual rate from an upwardly revised 370,000 units in November. It was the second straight month that new home sales declined.

If I may be so bold, the $8,000 first-time-buyers tax credit was originally scheduled to end in November, right? So it doesn’t seem like a big leap to assume that buyers may not have scheduled closings for December if they could get it done sooner. Ergo, a slump in sales after November.

Still, according to the Post, "Analysts polled by Reuters had expected new home sales to increase to a 370,000 unit annual pace from November’s previously reported 355,000 units."

Perhaps Reuters should consider asking some different analysts.

By the way, I hereby predict a slump in May home sales.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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4 Responses to New home sales fall in December — unexpectedly?

  1. I’m seeing things a little different here in AZ. I had many closings in December, but January has been slow. I’ve had way more inquiries in the past 2 weeks than I had all of December, though. So things are looking up.

  2. Pingback: Friday Chart – Foreclosures in Charlottesville MSA | RealCentralVA.com

  3. Things are a bit different in Northern VA. New homes are selling like hotcakes around here for a variety of reasons the main one being very little inventory in the resale market (straight from several of my client’s mouths).

    I’m curious…what do they consider “sold” – contract date or delivery/settlement date? If delivery date, then data doesn’t represent market conditions correctly because contract dates are 4 to 9+ months prior.

  4. Corona Homes says:

    In my market in so Cal, many of the buyers are all cash or buying for investment purposes. Credit is still tough to come by for first time home buyers and the like the being said the tax credit going away will have an impact on sales.

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