Housing Cools As Summer Ends
September 6, 2004,
Starting to cool off after a run up during the second quarter, the broad housing market turned down in July, with sales of new and existing homes both tapering off, and only housing starts managing a gain.
The slide in new home sales was particularly noticeable in the Northeast, where sales plunged 23.5 percent, and the South, down 15.9 percent. Sales in western states fell 1.7 percent, and rose only in the Midwest, 21.5 percent.
“Some slowdown in the sales pace was inevitable following the second-quarter surge in home buying,” said David Seiders, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. “Sales activity raced ahead after mortgage rates hit bottom in March and large numbers of fence sitters jumped into the market to beat widely anticipated mortgage rate increases. We knew some payback for that additional demand was in the cards.”
Sales of less costly, older homes, by far the largest segment of the housing market, slid 2.9 percent, to a seasonally adjusted level of 6.7 million units, dipping from a 13-month high of 6.9 million units the month before.
Housing by region
Month-to-month % change
|EXISTING HOME SALES||HOUSING STARTS||NEW HOME SALES|
|Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and National Association of Realtors
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