The Real Deal New York

New U.S. home sales dip

January 26, 2012 01:30PM

The number of single-family homes in contract nationwide in December 2011 was down month-over-month and year-over-year. Single-family home sales dropped to 307,000, when seasonally adjusted, in December 2011 — down 2.2 percent from November and 7.3 percent from December 2010, according to figures released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Economists have said that 700,000 homes should sell per month nationwide in a healthy housing market, according to a report from NPR.

In addition, 157,000 new construction homes hit the market in December, the seasonally adjusted numbers from the report show. The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2011 was $210,300, while the average sales price was $266,000.The 323,000 new construction homes that sold last year make 2011 the worst year for new construction sales on record, according to NPR’s story. The story said records have been kept since 1963.

However, Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, found the numbers positive. “December’s small decline in new home sales follows three consecutive months of gains and means the fourth quarter was still stronger than the third,” Neilsen noted in a statement from the association.

An estimated 302,000 new construction homes were sold in 2011 according to the report. The sales numbers for 2011 is down 6.2 percent from the 2010 figure of 323,000. — Guelda Voien