Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Home Sales: Worst Selling Season Ever

by Bill McBride on 6/25/2008 11:23:00 AM

There was no Spring this year. This year saw the smallest increase in sales from the Winter doldrums, to the Spring selling season, since the Census Bureau started tracking new home sales in 1963.

Note: Please see my earlier post for more on new home sales.

New Home Sales NSA No Spring Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) new home sales for the last 45 years.

Usually sales increase in the spring - but not this year. The previous worst spring on record was 1982 - in the midst of a severe recession, with 30 year fixed mortgage rates at 17%, and close to double digit unemployment.

In 1982, sales picked up late in the year as interest rates declined sharply (30 year fixed rates fell from 17% to about 13% at the end of the year).

New Home Sales Monthly Not Seasonally Adjusted The second graph shows monthly new home sales NSA for the last few years (repeated from this morning).

The Red columns are for 2008. This is the lowest sales for May since the recession of '91.

Once again, the 2008 spring selling season has never really started. And it's probably all downhill from here.

No wonder the home builders are so pessimistic.