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US New Home Sales Slide To 17-Year Low; Prospects Dim
Old 04-24-2008, 02:42 PM   #1
 
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US New Home Sales Slide To 17-Year Low; Prospects Dim

US New Home Sales Slide To 17-Year Low; Prospects Dim
4-24-08 10:15 AM EDT

By Brian Blackstone
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. new-home sales slid further in March to their lowest level since 1991 while the supply of homes for sale soared to nearly a three-decade high, suggesting little prospect of any near-term turnaround.
Sales of single-family homes slumped 8.5% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 526,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That's the lowest level since October 1991. Economists had expected a much smaller drop of 1.9%, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey.
February new-home sales fell 5.3% to an annual rate to 575,000. Originally, the government said February sales dropped by only 1.8% to 590,000.
Year over year, new-home sales were down 36.6%.
Other recent data confirm the headwinds the housing sector faces. Earlier this week, the National Association of Realtors said sales of pre-owned homes fell 2% in March. Prospects for a recovery in the broader economy are closely tied to housing, given its effect on construction, employment and consumer spending. With housing still under pressure, Federal Reserve officials are likely to lower official interest rates again when they meet next week.
The median price of a new home decreased by 13.3% to $227,600 in March from the previous year, according to Thursday's report. The average price tumbled by 11.3% to $292,200 from a year earlier.
Regionally last month, new-home sales decreased 12.5% in the Midwest and 19.4% in the Northeast. Sales fell 4.6% in the South and 12.9% in the West.
The month's supply of homes for sale rose last month to 11 months, the highest since September 1981.

-By Brian Blackstone; Dow Jones Newswires; 202-828-3397; brian.blackstone@ dowjones.com
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #2
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i would never call for a moratorium on new construction, what with capitalism and all, but here's an idea: lets at least temporarily tack on real-to-life impact fees on new homes. bet that will both reduce inventory and shore up sales of existing housing stocks.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:56 PM   #3
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De-construct all the houses. Save the materials.
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:32 PM   #4
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i would never call for a moratorium on new construction, what with capitalism and all, but here's an idea: lets at least temporarily tack on real-to-life impact fees on new homes. bet that will both reduce inventory and shore up sales of existing housing stocks.
How about permanently? Far-flung developments increase my taxes and decrease my services.
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:55 PM   #5
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How about permanently? Far-flung developments increase my taxes and decrease my services.

They basically have stopped building new houses here in the southern part of wake county North Carolina. Not one new start has happened in the past 4 months. The homes that are built are still unsold, and this area is supposed to still be a hot market. What a laugh, so glad I don't have to sell.
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #6
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De-construct all the houses. Save the materials.
I think Rewahoo said a developer not too far from him partially built four demo homes and then came back and bulldozed them on their way to quitting.
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
i would never call for a moratorium on new construction, what with capitalism and all, but here's an idea: lets at least temporarily tack on real-to-life impact fees on new homes.

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How about permanently? Far-flung developments increase my taxes and decrease my services.
That's funny that you mentioned that,
This story about Youngstown mentions the city trying to buy up the remaining houses in mostly vacant neighborhoods to raze them all. This will enable them to stop wasting money on road maintenance, street lights, police presence, and they can replace it all with some nice greenways. I'm sure you are all aware of the rustbelt economic problems -- these outer urban neighborhoods were built when the population was 200,000, and now it is down to 80,000.


City's plan to relocate residents meets resistance - Apr. 24, 2008
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:14 AM   #8
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Next thing you know, the meth labs will be asking for tax abatements...
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:49 AM   #9
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They basically have stopped building new houses here in the southern part of wake county North Carolina. Not one new start has happened in the past 4 months.
Mr. Market is solving everyone's problems re: suburban sprawl, rapid growth, etc. That's a good thing, right?
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:23 PM   #10
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Next thing you know, the meth labs will be asking for tax abatements...
you are too funny.

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Mr. Market is solving everyone's problems re: suburban sprawl, rapid growth, etc. That's a good thing, right?
local newspaper poll on population growth in south florida:

Florida has dropped to No. 19 on the list of the fastest-growing states, a far cry from the days when it was always near the top. Is this good or bad news?

Good news. (2102 responses) 77.7%
Bad news. (602 responses) 22.3%
2704 total responses
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:59 PM   #11
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A sign of the times - a primetime TV ad by NAR on a major network - simply promoting home ownership and the supposed benefits it brings. Maybe I'm just way too cynical, but it smelled of desperation - and I'm pretty sure that the impact on most would be to increase their negative perception of the market...
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:14 AM   #12
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No one is surprised by all this I assume. The spread between median income and median home prices has become so wide something had to happen sooner or later. Even these depressed prices in the Northeast and SoCal seem completely unrealistic, but the market will sort it all out. Will be interesting to see new assessment and reduced property tax revenues, but then I'm sure govts will adjust rates to compensate.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:31 AM   #13
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No one is surprised by all this I assume. The spread between median income and median home prices has become so wide something had to happen sooner or later. Even these depressed prices in the Northeast and SoCal seem completely unrealistic, but the market will sort it all out. Will be interesting to see new assessment and reduced property tax revenues, but then I'm sure govts will adjust rates to compensate.
New tax assessments? Yea right, I was sent my re evaluation early this year and I laughed at the counties 20% increase in my homes value as I sent in a tax appeal, which was denied yesterday. Now we will appeal what was denied. Home prices are down easy 15% in our neighborhood here in the Raleigh area and homes for resale are sitting unsold for now 6+ months, with new construction sitting unsold now for almost 1 year. This area is supposed to still be A HOT market!!! The media is still spinning down here in the carolinas. Gang its bad EVEN here.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:52 AM   #14
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New tax assessments? Yea right, I was sent my re evaluation early this year and I laughed at the counties 20% increase in my homes value as I sent in a tax appeal, which was denied yesterday. Now we will appeal what was denied. Home prices are down easy 15% in our neighborhood here in the Raleigh area and homes for resale are sitting unsold for now 6+ months, with new construction sitting unsold now for almost 1 year. This area is supposed to still be A HOT market!!! The media is still spinning down here in the carolinas. Gang its bad EVEN here.
Our assessments are going up too - - no more post-Katrina breaks - - plus our tax assessor says that property values for individual houses have risen in general. Have they? Well, I just happen to have compiled and studied local sales information in my suburb every week for the past six years, as a hobby. It is difficult to know how many post-Katrina sales were/are of damaged houses (which can affect the median, which is definitely down). I think prices of undamaged homes have dropped as well, but that is hard to demonstrate.

So, the politicians can (and will) get away with saying whatever they want.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:49 PM   #15
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My tax assessment has gone up for 2008 but is set to fall in 2009 (we get bi annual valuations). While the decline in assessed value is about 13% it doesn't come anywhere near reality.

But then there is no way that the city is going to want to decrease revenues by that much.
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