Newly built, single-family home sales last month fell to a seasonally adjusted 309,000, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.
Newly built, single-family home sales
last month fell to a seasonally adjusted 309,000, the U.S. Commerce Department
reported. The number is a record low.
However, after being battered by months
of poor home sales, the National Association of Home Builders saw some optimism
in the figures.
“As disturbing as this report sounds, there is
reason to believe that some potential home buyers may have purposely delayed
action in January as they waited to see how details of the President's economic
stimulus plan could affect a home purchase,” said Joe Robson, NAHB chairman and
a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. "Now that those details are known -
particularly those relating to the new first-time home buyer tax credit and
higher loan limits for government-backed mortgages - we are hopeful that many
buyers will be looking to take advantage of them in the coming months.”
The conditions responsible for the sagging home sales are
expected to remain, said NAHB chief economist David Crowe.
the downward pressures that have been exerting themselves on the housing market
remain in place, including the weakened economy, ongoing job losses and very
low consumer confidence,” Crowe said. “But as more home buyers find out about
the newly enhanced tax credit, and other parts of the economic stimulus package
start kicking in, we expect to see some firming effect on home sales. The hope
is that a certain amount of pent-up demand will be released as those who were
in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode decide they now have the information they need to
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