January New Home Sales Plummet in West
Causes 9.2 Percent Decline Nationwide
New single-family home sales in the West plummeted 32.1 percent in January, versus December, and that drove down sales nationwide 9.2 percent for the month to 494,000 units, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
In its January new home sales data, the other three major regions of the U.S. fared much better. The Northeast climbed 3.4 percent in January, compared to the previous month, while sales in the Midwest dropped 5.9 percent. The South saw its sales go up 1.8 percent.
On a year-over-year basis, sales jumped 100 percent in the Northeast, but declined 24.1 percent in the West. Sales also dipped in the Midwest and South, by 1.5 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.
Overall sales throughout U.S. shed 5.2 percent, compared to January 2015.
The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2016 was $278,800. The average sales price was $365,700, according to Census Bureau data.
Consumer turned a bit pessimistic in February about the economy.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 92.2, down from 97.8 in January. The Present Situation Index declined to 112.1 from 116.6, while the Expectations Index decreased to 78.9 from 85.3. The index began in 1985 with a benchmark level of 100.
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a probability-design random sample that is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of consumer information and data. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was Feb. 11.
Consumers who said business conditions were "good" decreased to 26.0 percent from 27.7 percent. Those who said business conditions are "bad" increased to 19.8 from 18.8 percent.
Also, consumers who said jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 22.1 percent from 23.0 percent, while those claiming jobs are "hard to get" rose to 24.2 percent from 23.6 percent.