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U.S. new home sales drop to lowest level on record
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2009-02-27 13:44
New home sales in the United States plunged 10.2 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000 units, the lowest level on record, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday.

The January sales were 48.2 percent below the year-earlier level.

Regionally, new home sales fell by 12.5 percent in the Northeast last month and were down 28.0 percent in the West. In the Midwest, meanwhile, sales dropped by 5.6 percent. Sales in the South also declined by 6.5 percent.

The median price of a new home, a typical market price where half of new homes are sold for more and half sold for less, dropped by 13.5 percent in January from the year-ago level to 201,100 dollars, the lowest level since December 2003.

A good news was that inventories of unsold new homes in January fell by 3.1 percent to 342,000 units, the 13th consecutive decline. In light of weak demand, that still represented a supply of 13.3 months at the current sales rate.

The weak showing for new home sales indicated that the country is still in the grips of the severe housing slump, which many analysts believe will last for some time, given the difficult sales environment.

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