WASHINGTON–Sales of newly constructed residences fell again in January, following two months of declines and reaching its lowest monthly level in 13 years. At the same time, the median sales price for new homes dropped more than 15 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
News of the decline in both sales and prices for new housing, released by the U.S. Commerce Department this morning, follows on the heels of declines for both sales and prices of previously owned homes, released Monday by the National Association of Realtors.
For new homes, sales in January fell to 588,000 on an annual basis, which was 1.8 percent below the level of December, but a plunge of 33.9 percent over the year. The number of homes sold was lower than at any time since February 1995.
Construction companies, developers and others seeking to sell new homes had to settle for a median price of $216,000. That was 4.3 percent lower than the $225,600 in December, and more than 15 percent lower than the $254,400 median price a year ago.
For previously owned or existing homes, January’s sales amounted to 4.9 million, a small decline since December, but a steep drop of 23.4 percent over the year.
Although the median price for existing homes was higher than that for new homes—reversing the trend in robust markets—that also fell both monthly and yearly.