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Economy in Brief

New Home Sales Fell
by Tom Moeller February 28, 2005

Sales of new single-family homes fell a sharp 9.2% in January to 1.106M but the previously reported slight gain in December was revised to a 5.6% increase. Consensus estimates had been for sales of 1.125M.

The decline in sales last month was led by a 40.3% drop in the Midwest (-33.2% y/y). In the Northeast sales fell 17.1% (-33.7% y/y) and in the South sales also fell by 3.3% (+1.3% y/y). In the West sales rose 5.6% in January (+16.6% y/y).

The median price of a new single family home fell to $199,400 (-4.8% y/y).

The figures from the Census Department reflect homes sold as opposed to the figures on existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors which reflect closings of sales in earlier months.

Homes Sales (000s, AR) Jan Dec Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
New Single-Family 1,106 1,218 -4.2% 1,196 1,089 976
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