Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Hitting a new low in new-home sales

West is hardest-hit region

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New single-family home sales fell to a record low in May, sinking an estimated 32.7 percent from April's upwardly revised rate of 446,000 and dropping 18.3 percent from the May 2009 rate, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That record low, a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 sales, comes after new-home sales jumped 30.8 percent year-over-year in April. The previous record low occurred in September 1981, when the seasonally adjusted home sales rate dropped to 338,000. The bureau's historical sales records date back to January 1963. "New-home sales are counted when the contract is signed, so the tax credit-related pickup in sales activity happened in April. This pulled demand forward, and April was probably the peak for new-home sales this year," stated a post at Calculated Risk, a financial and housing blog. In order for buyers to be eligible for the tax credit, homes had to be under contract by A...