Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Homes: Record Low Sales, All-Time High Inventory - DEC '08

The Census Bureau report for December 2008 will come as no surprise to market watchers in this area. Several builders in the Charlottesville / Albemarle area have recently faced mass foreclosures and the massive Biscuit Run Development is on hold due to the state of the economy.

December new home sales were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 331,000. This is the lowest since the Census Bureau started keeping records in 1963.

The top graph indicates months of supply: 12.9 (and this is seasonally adjusted). An all-time record.

Even a casual glance at the many unsold new houses in this area, which typically have asking prices higher than existing homes, and the unfinished developments and--well, it's a market clotted with inventory, ioho.

The bottom graph shows new home sales during other recessions. The dark blue lines indicate years during which the nation was in recession. This is the worst performance on record.

Then again, this is an economic crisis unlike any this nation (or the world) has ever encountered....
Graphs courtesy of Calculated Risk. Follow the link to get giant pop-up versions of these and other housing graphs.

BTW, the "new home" data largely excludes condos. There are a lot of those around here for sale, too.

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