Record Breaking

It is interesting watching the US housing market unfold. Late last year we saw some of the fastest plunges in the sales of new homes ever recorded, only for the new house market to close the year with sales down 17.3%.

On Friday night, it was reported new house sales jumped 5% for December – a recovery . . .

But the underlying figures are interesting. The inventory of completed but unsold new homes rose to finish the year up 50% yoy to a new record. With builders carrying this glut of houses on their books, they are offering free cars and vacations to help reduce new home inventories and provide incentives for people to buy.

Last night figures came out showing the number of vacant homes for sale increased 34% yoy, by far the fastest increase ever recorded. One thing for sure, US housing is breaking a lot of records.

Now one has to wonder with the number of vacant homes so high, what is next? Is the next step falling prices? Will it follow current tradition and be a record?

» US: Number of vacant homes for sale surges 34% – Market Watch, January 29th, 2007.
» US: New-home sales rise to highest since April – Market Watch, Jan 26th, 2007.