Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Home Sales Drop in September 2009

New Home Sales Drop in September 2009

According to this Nashville Business Journal article, New home sales drop unexpectedly, "New home sales took a surprising turn downward last month, according to newly released government figures." According to the article, on 10/28/2009, the US Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes declined by 3.6 percent in September 2009 to a seasonally adjusted rate of 402,000 new home sale units.

The article stated the following new home sales figures:
  • The number of unsold new homes fell for the 29th straight month to 251,000.
  • The supply of new homes at current sales rates remained unchanged at 7.5 months.
  • The median time it takes to sell a home remained unchanged at 13 months.
  • The number of completed new homes for sale fell to 109,000 units.
The article quotes Patrick Newport, a U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight, as saying "September’s decline is hard to explain."  According to the article, Newport offered the following possible explanations for the "unexpected" decline in new home sales:
  • "One possibility is that inventory has fallen so low that builders do not have enough completed homes on hand, and are losing sales to the market of existing homes."
  • "A second possibility is that September's reading was simply an aberration, just like the August drop in existing home sales was an aberration, and that sales will take off in October."
  • His final possible explanation is that due to the deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit nearing on 11/30/2009, would be new home buyers do not think they will be able to close in time and so these buyers decided not to buy.
I have to say that I do not find this "unexpected" decline in new home sales to be unexpected at all. The fundamentals of the real estate and housing market are poor. Unemployment is over 10%, foreclosures and other distress sales are at record levels, banks are failing in record numbers (in terms of dollar losses). The only things keeping home prices (including new construction) at current levels (i.e. preventing home prices from falling to sustainable levels) is artificial government intervention in the form of:
  • The $8,000 home buyer tax credits.
  • Expanded FHA and other government backed mortgage loans (see my blog post Real Estate Recovery or More Problems (Short Sales and Foreclosures)?, which shows that "of all the home sales that have occurred in 2009, 59% of all buyers relied on low down payment government financing programs.").
  • Extraordinary government purchases of mortgage loans (95%+ of all mortgage loans are purchased by the government owned agencies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae - see Recent Developments in Mortgage Finance).
With the $8,000 tax credit coming to an end soon (even with the proposed extension it will only last for an additional 8 months), continued unemployment, record foreclosures and a pending pull back in FHA and other government loans due to the record default rates (see my blog post FHA in Deep Trouble: Default Rates Skyrocketing) new home sales should decline.  Only the government nonsensical intervention is fooling buyers into thinking things are OK.

If you are a home buyer or real estate investor in Middle Tennessee who is interested in purchasing new construction (new single home, new townhouse or new condo), do not be fooled by builder hype and marketing. If you want a great deal on new construction, you will need knowledgeable, aggressive and professional buyer representation. Please contact me, or visit my website Search the Middle Tennessee MLS - Find New Single Homes, New Townhomes and New Condos in Middle TN. I help home buyers in Rutherford County TN, Williamson County TN, Davidson County TN, Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN, La Vergne TN, Eagleville TN, Lascassas TN, Rockvale TN, Christiana TN, Brentwood TN, Franklin TN, Nashville TN and Belle Meade TN.

On the other hand, if you are a home builder in Middle Tennessee who is in financial trouble due to being unable to pay your mortgage payments, or owe more in mortgage debt than you can sell your newly constructed homes for, or you are already in foreclosure please contact me to discuss selling your new homes via short sales. I am a Middle Tennessee distressed real estate, short sale, pre-foreclosure (preforeclosure) and foreclosure REALTOR and Expert. I serve real estate owners, homeowners and investment property owners in Rutherford County TN, Williamson County TN, Davidson County TN, Murfreesboro TN, Smyrna TN, La Vergne TN, Eagleville TN, Lascassas TN, Rockvale TN, Christiana TN, Brentwood TN, Franklin TN, Nashville TN and Belle Meade TN. If you do need to short sell your new homes (a real estate short sale occurs when the sale proceeds are not sufficient to pay off all the mortgages and liens on the property/home), or you need quick sales due to being in foreclosure, you can request short sale and foreclosure help and assistance on my website at Get New Construction Short Sale and Foreclosure Help and Assistance from a Middle Tennessee Short Sale and Foreclosure REALTOR and Real Estate Expert.

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