The new home sales data was released and the results are less than stellar. For 2011, there were only 302,000 new home sold nationwide. For perspective, in the South the numbers were the lowest since 1966, and that is the good news. In both the Northeast and the West, sales were the worst in recorded history.
So when you are talking with builders, be kind. They have had a very rough few years.
Purchases of single-family properties decreased 2.2 percent to a 307,000 annual pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for a rate of 321,000 home sales. Last year marked the worst year for the industry in records going back to 1963.
The threat of further price declines may be dissuading some Americans from buying a new home even with mortgage rates near all-time lows and more people finding work. Following a lull in 2011, a wave of foreclosures may hamper the recovery in real estate as more distressed properties are put on the market.
“Builders continue to contend with a number of existing homes that are deeply discounted,” said Anika Khan, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We’re expecting a bit of a pickup in 2012, but we won’t see a meaningful increase as long as new homes are competing with those existing homes.” via Bloomberg