"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Home Sales

Better late than never, right?
Last month, we had results that were substantially better than expected.  The Econoday analysts were looking for 300,000 new single-family home sales in December, and we had 329,000 sales.  This month, the same analysts are looking for 310,000 new home sales for January.  Are they overoptimistic, or are they playing it safe?  Let's find out.
The joint US Census Bureau/HUD press release seems to have kicked those analysts in the metaphorical teeth.  Seasonally adjusted, January 2011 saw 284,000 new single-family home sales.  That's 'only' about 26,000 short of expectations.  Also, the December figures were revised downwards to 325k (not all that big an adjustment, really).  The median home price decreased $10,900 to $230,600, while the average price decreased $31,100 to $260,300.  The report doesn't come right out and say so, but the drop in sales can probably be blamed on last month's showing of Fimbulveter II:  Snowmageddon.

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