New Home Prices Plunge the Most in More Than 35 Years; Durable Orders at Record High

Sales of new one-family houses in September 2006 were down 14.2% year-over-year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,075,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is 5.3% above the revised August rate of 1,021,000 

The median sales price of new houses sold in September 2006 fell 9.7% to $217,100, the lowest median price for a new home since September 2004 and the sharpest year-over-year decline since December 1970. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of September was 557,000. This represents a supply of 6.4 months at the current sales rate.

Durable Goods Orders

New orders for manufactured durable goods in September increased $16.3 billion or 7.8% to $226.7 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was at the highest level since the series was first stated on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed two consecutive months of declines and was the biggest gain since June 2000. Virtually all of the strength came from a huge 183.2% increase in orders for commercial aircraft. Outside of transportation, orders were up only 0.1%.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in September, down two of the last three months, decreased 2.8% to $208.6 billion. This followed a 2.0% August increase.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in September, up eight of the last nine months, increased 1.0% to $290.8 billion. 

Nondefense new orders for capital goods in September increased $15.2 billion or 21.9% to $84.5 billion while defense new orders for capital goods in September increased $4.1 billion or 41.9% to $13.7 billion.

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