Ugh! New home sales, which measure contracts signed, fell to an all-time low of 250,000 annualized sales in February (they've been collecting records since the early 1960s) — well below the 288,000 expected.
All four regions saw declines. The median price for new homes fell 8.9 percent from a year ago.
This follows the disappointing February existing home sales (which measures closings, not contracts signed) out on Monday, which came in at 4.88 million annualized sales, below the roughly 5 million expected.
It's a pretty simple story: existing home sales are continuing to sell at a much bigger discount to new home sales than has historically been the case.
In other words: buyers perceive more value in buying an existing home. This means more pressure to lower prices on new homes, and — as we have seen — lower building starts and permits.
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