New-home sales in 2010 lowest in almost 50 years

posted at 1:36 pm on January 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, I think 1963 was a brilliant year in many respects.  The Beatles released their first album, James Bond premiered in Dr. No, the Mercury Program concluded successfully with Gordo Cooper’s multi-orbit flight, the University of Alabama integrated, and the Dodgers swept the World Series from the New York Yankees.  And also, I was born in 1963, so I have some fondness for that year in particular.

Unfortunately, our housing market seems to have caught 1963 nostalgia.  The number of houses sold in the US hit a 47-year low, coming in 14% lower than the previous year:

Buyers purchased the fewest number of new homes last year on records going back 47 years.

Sales for all of 2010 totaled 321,000, a drop of 14.4 percent from the 375,000 homes sold in 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the fifth consecutive year that sales have declined after hitting record highs for the five previous years when the housing market was booming. …

Still, economists say it could be years before sales rise to a healthy rate of 600,000 units a year.

Yesterday, the pushback on the idea of a housing value double-dip was that the sales of new houses bounced upward in December from November by 17.5%.  However, the annualized sales rate for December still only amounted to a pace for 329,000 units, which would still be a 12% drop from 2009.  Or, as Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics put it, “10 percent of next-to-nothing is still next-to-nothing.”

Now economists predict falling house values through the first half of 2011, and see no real upward momentum in sales.  There is simply too much inventory and not enough qualified buyers to generate any bounce in 2011.  As a result, construction and secondary industries will continue to struggle this year.

Until we start creating jobs, this won’t change — not in the first half of 2011, and not in 2012 or any time in the foreseeable future.


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WTF!

Count it!

Chip on January 27, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Help is on the way. “Investing” in bullet trains and dumping more money into education will fix this. We will Win The Future!

Kataklysmic on January 27, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Can’t government investment help this somehow? Theree was a program for used cars a couple of years ago,….

a capella on January 27, 2011 at 1:40 PM

How many times must I say it: Launching dogs into high Earth orbit will create economic miracles.

Bishop on January 27, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Obama needs to announce a new house for old program where any loyal democrat living in an old house can have it torn down and replaced with a new energy efficient modern dwelling. It would only be fair, after so many poor democrats have lived their lives in such shabby circumstances.

..and it would means lots of jobs.

Skandia Recluse on January 27, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Under the very excellent leadership of Mr. Franlkin Delano Raines.

mankai on January 27, 2011 at 1:43 PM

There is simply too much inventory and not enough qualified buyers to generate any bounce in 2011.

Liberal response: BURN ‘em and raise the minimum wage. That will reduce supply and raise wages, thus qualifying (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) for a home loan.

Next problem?

GarandFan on January 27, 2011 at 1:43 PM

American Dream Revoked.

portlandon on January 27, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Skandia Recluse on January 27, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Cash 4 Crack Houses?

mankai on January 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Together we thrive!

cmsinaz on January 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Don’t forget who’s responsible. They’re hoping it won’t come up in the 2012, but we have to make sure it does. if things don’t improve, folks will take a second look.

jeanie on January 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

I did my part.

Vashta.Nerada on January 27, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I’ll have to double-check the records, but I don’t think it snowed every day last year.

Vashta.Nerada on January 27, 2011 at 1:46 PM

No one’s buying houses because there aren’t high speed trains between them.

Chuck Schick on January 27, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Hey, I think 1963 was a brilliant year in many respects. The Beatles released their first album, James Bond premiered in Dr. No

Technically, Ed, Dr. No premiered in Britain in the fall of 1962. Unless you’re limiting it to the US, where it was in fact released in 1963. From Russia With Love(the best Bond flick ever) was the one that premiered in 1963.

Doughboy on January 27, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Everybody knows that housing sales are traditionally slow in months with an R or an A or a J.

mankai on January 27, 2011 at 1:48 PM

James Bond premiered in Dr. No,

Just fackchecking you, Ed: Dr. No came out in October of ’62

thebrokenrattle on January 27, 2011 at 1:49 PM

You know what else happened in 1963?

Zanzibar is granted internal self-government by the UK, and Timothy Leary tries LSD for the first time.

Spooky when you really think about it.

Bishop on January 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Crosshairs on maps are destroying the housing market.

portlandon on January 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM

No one’s buying houses because there aren’t high speed trains between them.

Chuck Schick on January 27, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Choo Choos for the Economy Win!

search4truth on January 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM

WTF…………I mean past.
Sputnik? oh wait that was ’57(right?).
Maybe The O is waiting until we are completely at ’57 Sputmik levels and then he’ll concentrate on jobs, or housing or something.

ORconservative on January 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM

You racist Whites! Trying to make Barry Soetero look bad on purpose!!

SouthernGent on January 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Winning
The
Future!

We need a new first time homebuyer’s credit but make it $80,000 this time!

/Psycho-Krugs

Ted Torgerson on January 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

portlandon on January 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM
Chuck Schick on January 27, 2011 at 1:47 PM
Vashta.Nerada on January 27, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Comedy gold!

:)

mankai on January 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

The Reagan tax cuts are finally coming home to roost.

mankai on January 27, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Somebody needs to whisper in the ear of these economists who keep insisting that the recession is over, the economy is on the upswing, and we are in the middle of a recovery.

Hogwash. The only reason that unemployment numbers are slightly down is that so many have been out of work for so long that they have run out of benefits and have quit looking for work long ago.

Some truth-telling by the MSM is in order, but then again, it has sadly been missing for a long time now, to our great misfortune.

hillbillyjim on January 27, 2011 at 1:55 PM

I take it this isn’t pro-rated for population change.

There were only 180 million people in the US in 1960, and it’s 309 million now.

forest on January 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Hey the DJIA is above phucking 12000 so the recovery has reached its zenith.

darwin-t on January 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM

I blame Jay Cutler’s knee./

ted c on January 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Home sales will continue to decline as the percentage of children born out of wedlock increases and America values the traditional family less and less. (Today 40% of American children are born out of wedlock, and we have twice as many single-parent households as we did 40 years ago.) The single parent with the children is going to be less likely to be able to afford to pay for a house and the parent who doesn’t have the kids with them has less incentive to buy a house.

I think we’re also about to see a decline in the birthrate as a result of women in my generation who postponed starting a family for their careers. It’s a lot harder to have kids in your thirties, but they’ve seen all these celebrities have kids all the way into their 40′s so they thought they could do the same thing. Too bad just like those female celebrities they will probably need extra assistance to conceive and not everybody is going to go to the trouble.

Polynath on January 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

darwin-t on January 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Bush and his Wall Street buddies gettin’ richer while the working man is still gettin’ poorer.

/2001-2008

mankai on January 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Taking a page from Chavez, now squatters will have places to choose from instead of the streets.
More trickle up poverty.

OkieDoc on January 27, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Too bad just like those female celebrities they will probably need extra assistance to conceive and not everybody is going to go to the trouble.

Polynath on January 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Some female celebrities (Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker) are even paying younger surrogates to have the kids for them.

Wethal on January 27, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Bush and his Wall Street buddies gettin’ richer while the working man is still gettin’ poorer.

/2001-2008

mankai on January 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

If the Boys on the Street don’t have nail benders to fleece any longer who are they reeming now?

darwin-t on January 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Just fackchecking you, Ed: Dr. No came out in October of ’62

thebrokenrattle on January 27, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Ed’s in Minnesota, they are still waiting for Revenge of the Jedi to come to theatres. Yeah. News of the name change still hasn’t reached em.

lorien1973 on January 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

who wants to buy a new home when older ones are going for so much less and you can spiff them up for a song?!

upinak on January 27, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Hey the DJIA is above phucking 12000 so the recovery has reached its zenith.

darwin-t on January 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM

the recission is ova.. er, wait!

upinak on January 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Ghost cities

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Hey, I think 1963 was a brilliant year in many respects. …I have some fondness for that year in particular.

Unfortunately, our housing market seems to have caught 1963 nostalgia.

JFK Assassination

maverick muse on January 27, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Bullet train to bankruptcy, baby!

james23 on January 27, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Hey, if The Gubmint would pay off my current home, I’d buy another one. Promise.

J.E. Dyer on January 27, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Existing home inventory is going to continue to increase as the boomers retire. On average, ten thousand people a day will began retiring on Jan 1 and will continue for the next 20 years or so. They are in their last house and won’t be buying another.

crosspatch on January 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

…what a lady, what a night.

sorry, i can’t help myself when someone quotes obscure lyrics

DrW on January 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and the rest of the Democrats used the Community Reinvestment Act to artificially create “affordable housing” by forcing banks into making bad loans and then pass the bad loans off to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams with home price plummeting, but apparently, for some strange reason few people want to buy homes now.

It’s a good thing the Progressives and Democrats only care about their intentions, not the actual outcome of their collective stupidity.

RJL on January 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Count it.

CWforFreedom on January 27, 2011 at 6:36 PM

I’m sure that within the next three months, the ABC News radio blurbs I hear on the way to work will manage to find some little ray of sunshine concerning the housing market. Something along the lines of, “…reports a 40% increase of squatters in abandoned homes. President Obama said today that if this trend continues, we can say goodbye to homelessness within the year.”

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 27, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Some truth-telling by the MSM is in order, but then again, it has sadly been missing for a long time now, to our great misfortune.

hillbillyjim on January 27, 2011 at 1:55 PM

They can’t tell the truth. The sheeple are %70 of the economy. If they get scared then there goes what little you have left.

DFCtomm on January 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM

And just how much has the population of the USA increased since 1963? How far back would you have to go to get the same relationship between home sales to population that equals what we have today? Was it as bad any time during the great depression?

lewis1940 on January 27, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Unexpectedly

Big John on January 27, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Poor Ed, how will he resolve a Palin Presidency that can’t create jobs for four years — guess we’ll get the blame Obama from people such as he — with no conscious realization that he spent the last four years condemning the blame Bush statements….

The age of the internet — short term memory rules!

Bradky on January 28, 2011 at 6:42 AM