Jury finds ex-Depot vendor not guilty
A Home Depot spokesman said the company might still file civil charges against the businessman, Ian Jay Evans, because he admitted making kickbacks to a Home Depot buyer. The trial was part of a larger investigation that resulted in jail time for two former Home Depot buyers.
New-home sales down for July
On the day after a report showed existing-home sales plunged 27%, government data reveals new-home sales for July dropped in double digits.
The July estimate for new-home sales, released Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, for July dropped 12.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 276,000, compared with the downwardly revised June figure of 315,000. The sales figure was also 32.4% below the July 2009 estimate of 408,000.
The median sales price for a new house in July was $204,000; the average sales price was $235,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 210,000, representing a supply of 9.1 months at the current sales rate.
Regionally, the Northeast decreased 13.9%, the Midwest decreased 8.3%, the South decreased 8.7%, and the West decreased 25.4% for July.
NAHB weighs in on home sales
As new single-family home sales fell to the lowest rate on record — a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 276,000 unites in July — The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) described the slow pace of economic recovery as a hurdle to market activity.
“Today’s report, though not unexpected, is disappointing in view of the improvement in sales activity that we saw in June,” said Bob Jones, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “Potential home buyers have become very hesitant due to uncertainty about the economy and job market, and are putting off the decision to buy until they feel more confident.”
“The slow pace of economic recovery and worries about job security are weighing heavily on the minds of potential home buyers right now,” agreed NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “As a result, the housing market is clearly in a holding pattern. That said, NAHB does not project that a double-dip recession is in the cards, and we are looking for employment gains later this year to help bolster sales activity moving forward.”
Sales of new homes fell across every region in July, with a 13.9% decline registered in the Northeast, an 8.3% decline in the Midwest, an 8.7% decline in the South and a 25.4% decline in the West.
Meanwhile, the latest figures indicated that builders are keeping a tight rein on the inventory of new homes for sale. That inventory remained unchanged at 210,000 units in July. However, due to the slower pace of sales activity, the month’s supply of homes rose to 9.1% from 8% in the previous month.