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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Summary Post: New Home Sales at Record Low

by Calculated Risk on 2/26/2009 08:34:00 PM

Another summary post and open thread (for discussion).

New home sales in January 2009 (309 thousand SAAR) were 10.2% lower than last month, and were 48% lower than January 2008 (597 million SAAR). See link for graphs of sales and inventory.

There was some discussion that the seasonal adjustment might be distorting the sales number. The following graph of the January sales numbers (no adjustment) shows this decline in sales wasn't a seasonal issue.

New Home Sales January Not Seasonally Adjusted Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This shows the Census Bureau reported sales for every January since 1963. The label is the sales for the month (in thousands).

Clearly January 2009 was the worst ever - and this wasn't adjusted for changes in population either, and the U.S. population has grown substantially since 1963.

Initial unemployment claims hit 667,000 last week (highest since 1982) and continued claims were over 5 million for the first time ever. The numbers aren't quite as bad when adjusted by covered employment (see graphs)

Here was an analysis on the impact of falling rents: What If Rents Cliff Dive?

Fannie Mae reported a loss of $25.2 billion, the U.S. may backstop AIG CDS losses (likely to be announced Sunday or Monday morning), and oh yeah, we are still waiting for the Citi deal!

Scroll down for more ... and there will probably be more tonight. Best to all.