Industry News

New-home inventory grows

Sales rate up 3% since January 2005

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Inventory of new homes for sale continued to build up in January, reaching a supply of 5.2 months at the January sales rate, the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today. Real estate industry groups have said that a supply of about six months is considered to represent a housing market that is roughly in equilibrium between a buyer's market and seller's market – a higher supply tends to represent a buyer's market while a supply less than six months tends to represent a seller's market. The months' supply estimate is the highest on record for at least the past five years. Sales of new single-family houses in January 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.23 million in January, the agencies reported, which is 5 percent below the revised December rate and 3.3 percent above the January 2005 estimate. The seasonally adjusted annual rate is used to project a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted for seasonal f...