Sales of new single-family houses in January 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, down 0.2% from December’s big gains.
This is 0.2% below the revised December rate of 482,000, but is 5.3% above the January 2014 estimate of 457,000, considered a weak level.
Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee, says she thinks this shows a housing market that’s flat.
“Coupled with a near 5% decline in existing sales, this morning’s decline in new sales suggests the housing recovery remains muted. Yesterday’s monetary policy testimony revealed a dovish Federal Reserve Chairman,” Piegza said. “Of course, given the slew of disappointing economic news including back-to-back months of negative retail sales, a one-year low on the ISM, and four months of negative durable orders in the last five, not to mention increasing concerns regarding a further decline in inflation and a still-sluggish housing market, and it’s hard to imagine why the Fed wouldn’t sound dovish in their assessment of the economy, as well as hesitant in their ability and willingness to initiate liftoff.
“This morning’s home sales report further confirms the Fed’s assessment of a ‘slow’ recovery in the US housing market and offers yet another reason for an extended timeline for liftoff,” she said.
Rick Sharga, executive vice president at Auction.com, told HousingWire he sees housing entering a “boring plateau.”
“That’s not a bad thing considering how bad the recession was — there’s a reason it was called the Great Recession,” Sharga said. “We’re entering a period of boring but slow, steady growth.”