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New-home sales take a dive

Mitchell Hartman Dec 23, 2009
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New-home sales take a dive

Mitchell Hartman Dec 23, 2009
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STACEY VANEK-SMITH: We’ve gotten a lot of good news from the housing market in recent weeks. But today, some not-so-great news. New-home sales dropped 11 percent in November to their lowest level in seven months. Mitchell Hartman has more.


MITCHELL HARTMAN: Sales of new homes were down 11.3 percent in November compared to the month before. Most economists were predicting an increase. Plus, the sales figures for October were revised downward and new-home prices fell nearly 2 percent from a year ago.

But while demand for new homes slackened in recent months, the market for previously owned ones is doing just fine. There was a 7.4 percent increase in sales in November, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The plunge in new-home sales indicates that any recovery in the housing market is likely to come in fits and starts. Analysts said sales could have been hurt by the continuing high level of foreclosures, which puts lower-priced houses on the market.

Ultimately, home sales are likely to pick up with the extension of the government’s first-time-homebuyer tax credit, which will run through April and include current homeowners as well.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

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