There was some good news in New Home Sales Data, despite those ugly headlines: Inventories continue to slide downwards, as builders slash prices. They fell over 7% for the month alone.
Sales of new one-family houses in September 2008 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 2.7 percent (±12.1%)* above the revised August rate of 452,000, but is 33.1 percent (±8.9%) below the September 2007 estimate of 694,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in September 2008 was $218,400; the average sales price was $275,500. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of September was 394,000. This represents a supply of 10.4 months at the current sales rate.
One other thing to note: Note the monthly 2.7% increase was based in part on last month's being revised downwards, making the differential look bigger (this month is also likely to be revised downwards). Annualized sales for the month was 464k; Actual unadjusted monthly new home sales are about 35-45k, down from 100-120k (before they get annualized).