New-home sales fall to record low in '09

Northeast sales jump 33.3% year-over-year in December

Sales of new single-family homes dropped to a record-low estimate of 374,000 homes sold in 2009, down about 22.9 percent from the previous year, federal agencies reported today. In U.S. Census Bureau records dating back to 1963, annual new-home sales have never dropped below 400,000.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales in December, at 342,000, fell both year-over-year and month-to-month. This rate, a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted for typical seasonal fluctuations in sales activity, is an estimated 7.6 percent below the revised November figure and an estimated 8.6 percent below the December 2008 rate, Census and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported.