New Home Sales Plummet 13% To 284,000 Annualized Rate, 19K Actual Homes Sold Lowest Monthly Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

While the quant funds are desperately seeking modelers for a "deranged middle east dictator" algo, the US economy continues to prolapse. From the release: "Sales of new single-family houses in January 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 284,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 12.6 percent (±11.2%) below the revised December rate of 325,000 and is 18.6 percent (±15.4%) below the January 2010 estimate of 349,000. The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2011 was $230,600; the  average sales price was $260,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 188,000. This represents a supply of 7.9 months at the current sales rate." Less than 500 homes (Z) sold in the over $750,000. And the stunner: only 19k non-annualized homes were sold. The lowest monthly total ever. (and as JT Smith points out, of the 19K, 53% were vacant lots or under construction).

And the stunning chart: actual non-seasonally adjusted monthly sales:

Full census release


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Sleepy Weasal's picture

Welcome to the Recovery...

StychoKiller's picture

This is not my beautiful house!

Harmonious_Dissonance's picture

I feel this may be bullish for equities.

Thomas's picture

It was the snow; keeps the buyers subdued.

Ham Wallet's picture

Lol.  "Winning the future" doesn't jive with snowfall.

hardcleareye's picture

I'm an ordinary guy

Burning down the house

Hold tight wait till the party's over

Hold tight We're in for nasty weather

There has got to be a way

Burning down the house

Here's your ticket pack your bag:

time for jumpin' overboard

Fightin' fire with fire


flacorps's picture

While we're quoting David Byrne

this ain't no party

this ain't no disco

this ain't no foolin' around

this ain't no mud club, or cbgb

I ain't got time for that now

heard about houston

heard about detroit

heard about pittsburgh, pa

you ought to know not to stand by the window

somebody see you up there

andybev01's picture

Qu'est-ce que c'est
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
Run run run run run run run away

AbandonShip's picture

Burn mother-ucker, BURN!

Actually I'm getting ready to buy a house these days.  Bad idea?

snowball777's picture

Very. 15-30% dip coming over the next couple years depending on your locale.


MachoMan's picture

My locale has been and is still adding jobs despite the rest of the economy...  as a result, our  housing prices have been pretty stable on the low end...  anything getting close to $200k is going to sit on the market for a while unless at a significant discount...  I'm up about 20% in the value of the home since I purchased in 08...  and imma dump it come spring...  actually hoping to see if I can rent a house in the same neighborhood...  would be an easy move and my entire neighborhood is nothing but cops, firemen, and teachers...  and on the outskirts of town...  and there is plenty of adjacent crop land...  I'm thinking neighborhood security is not going to be an issue... 

gaoptimize's picture

You may want to rethink that security assumption when those dependent on Government checks stop getting them.  You may want to suggest that they start prepping, rather than ending up with a bunch of neighbors that are capable of going on the offensive to meet their needs.

MachoMan's picture

The blue and red welfare queens are among the last to get the pink slip...  Given that few are lucky enough to have jobs, I'm not sure what your point is...  aside from the fact that poor and rich alike all own firearms to the teeth in this country...  all of my neighbors are capable of aggression...  and I'm not sure that eating doughnuts and tazing the elderly is really much practice for war...  I've put as many lead projectiles down range as they have...  and, if some semblance of the court system is still around, I have no problems marching to get the court involved in stopping them...  as a member of the bar.

I have little or no faith in my security...  but, I think all things considered, my neighborhood is better suited than most...  not that it's saying much...

csmith's picture

Just heard about a close on a S Fla property ~$1mm where the SELLER had to write a check for $175K...this is life in the resi real estate market today.

IOW, there are very real reasons nothing is moving and the banks aren't lending.

TruthInSunshine's picture

I advised someone against buying a home in a very exclusive area of Florida just two weeks ago (they had asked my opinion).

Anyways, they purchased a property for $368,000 that had last sold for $1,14x,xxx (something), and no, there were no structural, drywall (Chinese), mold or other issues with the home.

They purchased it as an investment property, and their big problem now will be a) the property taxes, b) HOA fees, c) Lack of availability of hurricane insurance, d) the coming outright collapse of whatever is left of a property market as credit completely goes by-by, and the market is forced to choke on all cash offers made by extremely shrewd and very tight-fisted investors (the kind that drive 10 year old cars with 200k miles on them, no matter how wealthy they are).

MachoMan's picture

Mine is 14 years old, but only has ~150k miles...  I don't drive much...  I'm holding out until they get this whole oil thing sorted out.  Waiting on weak hands to dump choice properties on the market...

I've been trying to buy shitbird/low end real estate as well as foreclosures and tax sale properties...  there is a permanent bid under these damn things...  nowhere near the haircut there should be...  I can finally start to see the cd exchange (old folks dumping CDs for rental properties) and "cash on the sidelines" drying up...  and, as said before, I probably live in as good of area as any as far as the general economy goes (we had the lowest unemployment in the country through 09, not sure about now).

The other problem that most people don't understand is that it is going to take quite a bit of money to get your title issues worked out post purchase...  I have a core competancy in this department...  not sure about everyone else... 

flacorps's picture

I bought a townhome early in the boom where the seller had to write a check to get the deal done. That's how I like buying 'em. Buy on cancer, divorce, old age or some other major problem with the seller's life situation.

jimijon's picture

My strategy or timing, is to keep on building up my silver and gold ounces until the end of 2012. Then I will start looking at real estate. As much as I am tempted, I will be disciplined and wait. Of course you may have other needs or desires.

However, I think it will work out really well. I currently spend and pay bills in FRN and put ALL of my savings into PMs. Then I will trade those for real estate in 2013. 

The mayans of course are correct. However, it won't be the end but a new beginning. We will learn then that we are not alone and are part of a larger universe. Star children if you must. We will also learn of infinite abundance.

Harmonious_Dissonance's picture

I'm with you brother, PM's to real estate. Acreage!! 53% vacacnt land to give us the lowest number of housing sales ever, real unemployment at 23%, yes best wait...

smlbizman's picture

if i may squeeze in here and i will try to be quick to the point, assuming most of you will fill in the blanks.

i live in balt. cnty..nice location close to everything.

major road put in connctng 95  to rt. 40 and 151...

built major sq. fttg. of industrial.. millions

some shopping, a green bank building that was occupied 3 mos. bye bye bradford..

less than 50% occupied..

i new housing project 3yrs old  capicity of 35 homes...4 are built and occupied..

they have just broke ground to double the size of the indust. park plus 450,000 st.johns

3 new home developments have broke ground around me, 1  600 ft down the road from the 4 house devlop.

others within 2 miles..

no financing signs on any of these sites...the lendor always proudly let the world know who was the financior.

than i hear that shortly the fed funds that are being used currently to finance these type of  improvements-{utilities, roads, housing etc. very liberal use of funds.}  are going to expire in a few months. than the light came on signs, private money can't be this stupid, ...

there is no demand for anything around total govt backing?    so i look forward to the future decay of my area, as the new empty houses can join the old empty houses and they both can take mine down with them...but if this is what i have to do to keep inflation down i will or is it deflation or is it...

Cpl Hicks's picture

What's the name on your ivory tower?

stoverny's picture

my house would have sold if it wasn't for that ice dam on the roof

Arthor Bearing's picture

Verdant fields of empty McMansions gazed upon by shivering tent-dwellers 

Quintus's picture

"....the US economy continues to prolapse."

Disturbing imagery, but accurate. :-)

Coast Watcher's picture

My sister the real estate agent says she's seeing one or two sales a month in an area of midcoast Maine that used to see four or five closings a week. The number of active agents has dropped by more than half, and she's getting out herself, starting a seasonal home maintenance business instead.

No One's picture

Well of course, didn't anyone see all the snow in January?

DonutBoy's picture

Ha!  They have a position for you at NAR.

tao400's picture

what does non anualized homes mean

snowball777's picture

You live there for one year.


oh_bama's picture

You guys are too negative.

Now home sales lower is because the weather, and too much going on around mideast so people have to watch CNBC so they have no time shopping for houses!!

mophead's picture

They're saving up for a down payment. Bullish!

Problem Is's picture

Wow you could write teleprompter blurbs for Cue-Ball Steve Lies-man...

Dr. Porkchop's picture

It's a sign of a continuing recovery! We'll find that bottom down there somewhere!

jtmo3's picture

No worries. We're still in the green and oil off the highs. 10yr yield down. It's an all out day it appears. Gotta keep the lid on.

Azannoth's picture

I bet 90% of those sales where to government employees or union members it seems they are the only people with steady guaranteed income

earnyermoney's picture

Washington D.C. was the only city on the Case Shiller index that had flat to increasing prices this past month. Spot on with the government employee comment.

treemagnet's picture

Well, it was snowing after all....

snowball777's picture

Fuck you guys <throws mic down, exits stage left >

ElMoro's picture

It's time for Obama to come up with another brilliant plan to help the Home Buildiners, I mean the "American Families Looking to start their dream in a new home."

Josh Randall's picture

How can you afford a house with so much AAPL and AMZN to buy

snowball777's picture

When I want somethin' man

I don't wanna pay for it

It's just as simple as that

   - Jane's Addiction, Been Caught Stealin'

Agent P's picture


Caviar Emptor's picture

Bottom line: house prices are still more than the market can bear. 

There has been an epic slide in average incomes since the crisis, on top of high structural unemployment. And the cost of home ownership has been rising non-stop. Banks charge more and insurance companies too just to close the deal. And the new reality means that prospective buyers aren't credit worthy at these prices. Banks won't lend into a deflationary housing market. 

Yikes's picture

My wife is a top agent in Southeast Wisconsin and can confirm the dismal January.  However, February activity skyrocketed but the prices are continuing to go down significantly.  The low prices she's getting for her buyers are eye opening.  More like eye cringing.