Industry News

New-home sales cool

But Midwest defies trend with 5.6% increase in January

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New-home sales dipped slightly in January following a torrid 2003 fourth quarter, but remained well above last year's record-setting pace. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new single-family homes sales was approximately 1.11 million, the Commerce Department reported today, down 1.7 percent from December's upwardly-revised rate of approximately 1.13 million, but 9.6 percent above the January 2003 rate of 1.01 million units. "Builders across the country are still very upbeat about the single-family housing market," said Bobby Rayburn, president of the National Association of Home Builders and a home and apartment builder from Jackson, Miss. "Harsh weather may have affected sales in some regions of the country, but with low mortgage rates and strong house-price performance continuing to fuel demand, there was hardly a dent in the totals." Three regions registered sales declines for the month. The Northeast, South and West posted 5 percent, 2.1 percent and 3.9 percent declines, ...