New home sales in US drop to lowest level on record

February 27th, 2009 - 1:40 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 26 (Xinhua) New home sales in the US plunged 10.2 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000 units, the lowest level on record, the commerce department said Thursday.
The January sales were 48.2 percent below the 2007 level.

The median price of a new house dropped by 13.5 percent in January from the year-ago level to $201,100 the lowest since December 2003.

The good news was that inventories of unsold new homes in January fell by 3.1 percent to 342,000 units, the 13th consecutive decline. In the light of weak demand, that still represented a supply of 13.3 months at the current sales rates.

The weak showing for new home sales indicated that the country is still in the grip of a severe housing slump that many analysts believe will last for some time, given the difficult sales environment.

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