The rate of new-home sales in November sunk to its lowest level since April 1995, while the sales rate for previously owned homes dropped 20 percent in November compared to the same month last year, according to government and National Association of Realtors reports.
The median price of resale homes dropped 3.3 percent in November compared to November 2006, the Realtor group reported, and the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that the median new-home sales price dropped 0.4 percent from November 2006 to November 2007.
Meanwhile, a home-price report released by Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller, which measures resale price changes by comparing multiple sales of the same homes over time, found that prices dipped 6.1 percent on average for a group of 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas year-over-year in October.
Sales of previously owned homes reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million in November, which compares to a rate of 6.25 million in November 2006. This rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations in sales activity. The Realtor group reported 6.48 million sales of resale homes in 2006 and 7.08 million sales of resale homes in 2005.
The inventory of for-sale resale homes was 10.3 months in November at that month’s sales rate, up 41.1 percent compared to a 7.3-month inventory in November 2006. The median price of resale homes in November was $256,800, compared with $268,200 in November 2006.
Regionally, sales of resale homes in the West dropped 25 percent year-over-year in November while the median price dropped 6.8 percent; sales fell 16.9 percent in the Midwest while prices dropped 0.5 percent; sales fell 19.4 percent in the South while prices dropped 2.5 percent; and sales fell 19.4 percent year-over-year in the Northeast in November while prices dropped 3.2 percent.
New-home sales fell 34.4 percent year-over-year in November, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 647,000. That is the lowest level since an annual new-home sales rate of 621,000 in April 1995. The agencies also reported a 9.3-month supply of new homes at the November sales rate, and a $239,100 median sales price for new homes in November.
Regionally, the new-home sales rate fell about 38.7 percent in the Midwest, 34.3 percent in the South, 33.8 percent in the West and 28.1 percent in the Northeast year-over-year in November.
Miami recorded the largest year-over-year drop in the S&P/Case Shiller home-price index in October, at 12.4 percent, and six of 20 markets in the report had double-digit percentage drops in prices compared to October 2006.
Miami was followed by Tampa with an 11.8 percent drop; Detroit was down 11.2 percent; San Diego, down 11.1 percent; Las Vegas, down 10.7 percent; and Phoenix, down 10.6 percent. Eleven of 20 cities in the 20-city index had the largest monthly declines in the history of the index in October.
Three of 20 cities in the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index experienced price appreciation from October 2006 to October 2007: Charlotte led with a 4.3 percent gain, Seattle was up 3.3 percent and Portland rose 1.9 percent.
“No matter how you look at these data, it is obvious that the current state of the single-family housing market remains grim,” said Robert J. Shiller, chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC, in a statement.