New Home Sales Post Modest Improvement From Record Low, Houses For Sale At Lowest Since August 1967

Tyler Durden's picture

According to the census department, new home sales printed at 300,000 in March (annualized; actual number sold was a whopping 29,000, of which 59% were not even built yet), a modest beat of  expectations of 280,000. The February number was revised from 250K to 270K. Therefore this was a 11.1% increase from what were virtually record lows. Refuting the better than expected headline, the underlying data was not too pretty: "The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2011 was $213,800; the average sales price was $246,800. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 183,000. This represents a supply of 7.3 months at the current sales rate" compared to 8.2 months in February. Additionally there was 1,000 or less house sold between $400,000 and $499.999, 1,000 or less houses sold between $500,000 and $749,000 and (Z) or less than 500 units sold under $750,000. And the kicker: the number of houses for sale at the end of March, 182,000 was the lowest since 1967. Welcome to the (recoveryless) recovery.

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Cassandra Syndrome's picture

Summer of Love 2 Bitchez!!!

duo's picture

Summer of moving back in with relatives.  Houses will either hold 3 generations, or 3 families (like some on my mother-in-laws neighborhood).  I'm starting to see 4 and 5 cars in driveways.

Laddie's picture

I've noticed several cars and other vehicles in driveways and MANY people living in single family homes, that and the RANCHERA music BLASTING, could signify a trend that investors should GO LONG on.

Dr. No's picture

Please dont let this be the bottom (again).....I have been waiting until I can buy a rental home with cash.  Need single family homes to keep dropping.  Would like to see single family sub $100k.  I know TBTF doesnt like this price, but that is where my market price is at.

Bazooka's picture

An you'll still be under water at $100k because prices will go to cash basis (no mortages available because deflation ravage credit away); so your house will be $10k.....a truly WTF moment.

FEDbuster's picture

Or QE 235 will result in the printing of the first US $1 Trillion dollar bill, and the house will be worth $15 trillion dollars.  The Bernank has vowed no deflationary depression on his watch, so Zimbabwe economics will rule the day.

Harlequin001's picture

but that $15 trillion will likely be worth around...$10K today, so just wait a while...

It will still go to cash...

FEDbuster's picture

Come to AZ.  You can buy 3bed/2baths all day long for under $100K.  Some friends of mine just bought one for $61K (needs 5-10K of cosmetic fix up), they will get $850./mo. for rent.  We are way below cost of construction for home prices, the market is totally FUBAR due to banksters.

MachoMan's picture

This is what average prices are in Arkansas heh...  I'm waiting to buy the dip, but it doesn't appear we're going to have as much...  in fact, the lower end of the curve has been increasing in price I think...  but, anything over $175k is likely going to sit on the market for a while...  and, best case scenario, the seller will be asked to pay all the buyer's closing costs given the buyer doesn't have a pot to piss in.

ParaZite's picture

If you want a home you can buy for cash... how about lovely Detroit City? One dollar a house... you can be your own slum lord!

Jeff Lebowski's picture


You want the average middle class home owner to continue taking a hit to help you make a profit?

Hephasteus's picture

Shit hole earth fails to attract new ponzi participants.

I wouldn't be surprised if population was actually in severe decline.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

ha.. I guess if advanced life were discovered on another planet, the TBTF zombie banks would be trying to figure out how to qualify them for ARMs and how to capture their alien finance regulators.

Hephasteus's picture

No. They'd be trying to figure out to pretend they were everyones friend. While brutally damaging a small portion of the population off in a secret out of the way shit hole. It's their chicken fucking method of operation.

banksterhater's picture

If the market is so strong, why are 4 MILLION FORECLOSURES NOT BEING PROCESSED? Because squatters add $60 Billion annually to consumer spending?

Rogerwilco's picture

A sale would realize and record the actual value of the property versus the fictional number now on the bank's balance sheet. Some banks (WFC, cough, BAC) don't want that to happen.

FEDbuster's picture

The 182K homes for sale must be a number for new homes only.  No one is building new homes, so that number should decline even more.  The exsisting homes for sale (including foreclosures) is the number to watch.  Shadow inventory of homes that are vacant, but not for sale yet is an important number, too.  With over a million foreclosures last year and the expectation of a million more this year, the supply of homes for sale should be steady or growing for years to come.

Bazooka's picture

If price of house goes to cash prices...that's when the bottom will be.

An average American has what.$2,000 in their at cash prices (because credit is no longer available for mortgages; aka DEFLATION); then you can imagine how low it will be...can you say 10 cents on the dollar to current prices?

That means today's $280k house will be worth $28k.


TruthInSunshine's picture

An average American has what.$2,000 in their bank...


I do believe the average American has a negative net real worth. I seem to recall that less than 20% of Americans have significant savings (not counting housing values, so mark that lower, probably).

Throw in government-induced debt obligations, and the level of negative net worthlessness soars.

SNAP cards, Credit Cards, UE Insurance, Disability Insurance, Social Security, Medicare & Circuses, baby!

Dr. No's picture

huh.  In my post above I was waiting for cash prices in the sub$100k.  But per your analysis, I think Ill wait a bit longer.  As you stated, the bottom will be cash price.  More and more people are not mortgage worthy per the Dodd-Frank guidelines.  Additionally, budget cuts will force the hands of the GSEs.  Hopefully the days of the 30-yr mortgage are ending.  Next, I hope student loans die so that I can perhaps afford tuition for my young step son.

banksterhater's picture

Plus the max jumbo loan is going back to $625K ish -that will hurt higher end.

malek's picture

They're going to extend that anyway...

NotApplicable's picture

Dodd-Frank is designed to kill the private mortgage business, not the mortgage business in general, which of course, is Frank's favorite creation, the Fannie/Freddie/VA/HUD/etc...

Just 3.5% down, steady job, minimally decent credit is all you need.

I wouldn't get into the cash market for anything less than 70% off current prices, but instead, ride the Bernank Put with a Barney Frank loan. It's all about recognizing future purchasing power. Also, if you retain enough real (i.e. non-fiat) savings to retire the note, you'll not have to worry about being a debt slave.

Short of some future storm troopers busting into your home claiming the note gives them ownership, I'd say it's a win-win, as you're profiting from currency depreciation, while holding insurance to cover the debt service (paying yourself the premium to boot).

patb's picture

Dodd-Frank is designed to help the balance sheets of the Big I Banks.


By continuing jumbo mortgages, it will keep the values up on the Jumbo POS's they are holding on their balance sheets.

Trust me if there was money in Jumbo mortgages, Wall street would be on it.  That mortgages are now Fannie/FHA/Fed

then it means the Banks are moving that risk slowly and steadily to the Federal Reserve and tax payers.


It takes a while for the Fed to collate 4 Trillion in crappy paper, so it's happening slowly.

ZippyBananaPants's picture

Sales of new single-family houses in March 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000, according to

estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 11.1 percent (±21.7%)* above the revised February rate of 270,000, but is 21.9 percent (±10.3%) below the

March 2010 estimate of 384,000.



I love the plus or minus of 21.7%.  Such accuracy!!

Hephasteus's picture

Precision machinery. You get that when you buy IBM.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

..but run the Jeopardy! app and watch it go!

banksterhater's picture

7.3 months supply of NEW homes is still high. How many of these will be cancelled due to contingencies/lack of financing? And this is the definition:

"A house is considered for sale when a permit to build has been issued in permit-issuing places or work has begun on the footings or foundation in nonpermit areas and a sales contract has not been signed nor a deposit accepted."

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Many purchases will be cancelled due to financing - last week FHA insurance fees went up which will put a few more buyers out of the market.

Hondo's picture

The low level of homes for sale especially in the higher end makes perfect sense.  Those still in their homes and making monthly payments know they are under water and would have to come to the table with a freezer of cash to get out.....they aren't going to move period.....the other side of that is that there are a reduced and limited number of people who can in fact qualify for the higher end home both from a cash flow and cash for down payment point of view.

TruthInSunshine's picture

To which The Bernank replies, "I am Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds."

Gimp's picture

The housing numbers were put together by our favorite minister of propaganda - "Bagdad Bob"

Watch interview:

Gimp's picture

The housing numbers were put together by our favorite minister of propaganda - "Bagdad Bob"

Watch interview:

Blankman's picture

The shadow inventory is always overlooked.  This is very pertinent to the info at hand as there are many homes out there (bank owned) that the bank has not put on the market.  

TruthInSunshine's picture

2 million 'once or twice dropped homes' not listed for sale (intentionally), bitchez.

thames222's picture mom finds out about the shadows as soon as they're on the market, she's flipped a couple in the past few years and made some sweet cash.

Dejean Splicer's picture

I'm going to rush out and sell my metals so I can buy some investment properties.

I doubt that I will be able to rent my investment property because the Banks/FED-proxiest have allowed all their deadbeat mortgage holders the right to live for free in their underwater boxes. IN FUCKING PERPETUITY!

Maybe I'll rethink the sale of the hard assets.

MsCreant's picture

My house was destroyed early April. I had it paid off. I will probably get a check for the whole deal from the insurance company. I have been looking at houses and all that goes with that. I called my bank, they are not loaning money to anyone for a mortgage. They don't care that I have paid off one house and three cars over the years with them. They don't care that I am employed. I told this to my realator to which she responded that all the financing is different on each deal, every time. She says that sales are going up in our area, but that each financing deal is different, like a reinvention of the wheel, and it changes daily. What worked yesterday will not work today.

When my banker turned me down, I asked her if it was because of Robosigning and the problems with the titles. She was not sure what I meant and asked me to tell her more. I spilt the whole thing quickly, including the empty boxes that were sold into the market as investment products. I blew her mind. She said she had not heard of all I was telling her but she knew the truth of it when I said it because it matches things that they had been told. She told me that they stopped doing mortgages, but that they had not told them why. I told her about Zerohedge and 4closure fraud.

It's getting rough out here on the ground. I wish I had a house to bunker down in right now. I feel so exposed living in motel rooms, going to work.

Peace ya'll.

Rogerwilco's picture

People working at banks are not very bright by and large. A couple of weeks ago I closed my business and personal accounts at WFC and moved the money to a local credit union. While at Wells Fargo, the branch flunkey asked the obvious question, "Why are you closing these accounts?". I handed him a copy of the news article detailing the $350B, ten year, drug money laundering scandal, and WFC's slap-on- the-wrist fine. He looked at the headline, his face turned red, and he said none of it was true! When I asked him why Wells Fargo paid the fine, he became angry and ended the meeting. I left with a smile on my face.

Oligarchs Gone Wild's picture

These are two of my favorite comments in many months.  The impact of educating ponzi midlevel benefactors of their own blind participation in the continued fleecing of the productive. 

The sunshine is getting brighter and brighter. 

May there be many more ah ha moments from the exponential affects of these inception moments.

Thanks ZH.

Diogenes's picture

Banks have always been known for paying low salaries. Which tells you all you need to know about bank employees talent for savvy financial decisions.

Laddie's picture

Did same with JPMC and they didn't even ASK why, the Mexican lady didn't even look at me.


nmewn's picture


I assume the loss was from the bad weather we Floridians had come though first part of the month?...we lost power here for a couple days (tornadoes)...nothing like your loss of course...could be a blessing in disguise though...maybe downsize if you think it was more debt/house than you needed/desired...just thinkin out loud there, life, lemons & lemonade and all...hang in there kid.

Jendrzejczyk's picture

Alright , I don't know where to start.

Sounds silly and stupid, but I've been worried about you and wondered where you went (as I think often about many of the missing lately...Merehuman I hope you're doing OK).

WTF happened, husband alright?... all the minutest details you care to share are needed.

If you can rebuild on the same land and need help, let us know. I'll bring a crew out and wire the new place up at no charge.

I could use a little karma recharge and will help in any way possible.

Bringin It's picture

MsCreant - sorry to read about the home.  I hope you are doing OK.

Village Idiot's picture

Tyler I'd be curioius to know how much the numbers for sale and refi activity were influenced by the the new mortgage originator comp plans that went into effect on april 1st. Any loan applications originated prior to the 1st were allowed unrestricted compensation on the sale or refinance of residential re. I know there was a push to get applications and contracts dated prior to the 1st. To what degree this may have skewed the numbers I'm not sure.

EDIT: Some may wonder why lender commissions would affect RE purchase contracts.  Several reasons, but the biggest contributor would probably be that most large RE companies have financing arms that can contribute rather significatly to the bottom line.  In a post DONK environment that contribution has been reduced.  Get that contract/loan application signed no later than March 31, people!!  We'll see what happens for the month of April. May be statistically insignificant.

jkruffin's picture

The paper trade is about to collapse the entire ponzi scheme into rubble.  Silver is the first sign there are major problems brewing....look at all the people standing on the PANIC sell button...its just a matter of moments before it begins in earnest.

Dez Rodgee's picture

Cash price.  That's BS short of some markets like Detroit.  Just went house shopping this weekend in Charleston, SC, good homes are coming off the market quickly.  These were houses in the 250k-400k range.  They are bought by homeowners getting a mortgage and not paying cash.  So either Charleston, SC is the only place in America growing or things are not as bad as they seem in desirable states.

the grateful unemployed's picture

a lot of homeowners have taken to renting their homes. in SoCa you see more for rent sighs, than for sale signs. there is some activity in the foothills, where the uber wealthy are carving out plots in the brushy hillsides, but the median home just isn't changing hands.