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An eye-popping drop in new-home sales announced today by the Census Bureau.
Sales fell 10.5% from January to February. That put them 13.4% where they were in February ‘05.
Don’t blame it on the big snowstorm that hit the Northeast, giving New York’s Central Park a record snowfall: sales actually rose in the Northeast.
Other bad signs for the market: The median price fell $4,000 from January to $230,400. And the inventory of unsold homes jumped from 5.3 months’ worth at the current rate of sales to 6.3 months’ worth.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.