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New Home Sales Slide in September

New home sales slide unexpectedly in September as the deadline for the first-time homebuyer's credit draws near, according to a report released today by the Commerce Department.

Sales of new single-family homes decreased 3.6% to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 402,000, down from the revised August rate of 417,000. Analysts had expected a rate of 440,000, according to a Bloomberg survey of 75 economists. The September rate of sales is 7.8% below the September 2008 estimate of 436,000.

The median sales price of new homes sold in September 2009 was $204,800, and the average sales price was $282,600. The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of September was 251,000, representing a 7.5 month supply of homes at the current sales pace. There was a 10.9 month supply of homes for sale in September 2008.

A separate report released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association also reflected a decline in real estate sales activity. The MBA Weekly Mortgage Application Survey for the week ending October 23 shows that mortgage application volume decreased 12.3% on a seasonally-adjusted basis from the week earlier. Unadjusted, the index decreased 2.8% from the previous week, including the Columbus Day holiday.

Refinance activity was down 16.2% from the week prior. Purchases, seasonally-adjusted, decreased 5.2% from the week before. Unadjusted purchases increased 4.8% compared to the previous week because of the holiday-shortened week and was 15.4% lower than the same week a year ago.

U.S. Department of Commerce
American Bankers Association
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Wednesday, 08 July 2020

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