Inside these posts: New home sales

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New home sales plunge to record low in February

New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly fell in February to hit a record low and prices were the lowest since December 2003, showing the housing market slide continues. Get the full story »

Sales of new homes top forecasts, still not robust

New home sales climbed 17.5 percent in December to the highest level in eight months, the government reported Wednesday.

Sales of newly built single-family homes rose to an annual rate of 329,000 units last month, from a revised 280,000 units the month before, the Commerce Department said. That was the highest level since April but still down 7.6 percent from 2009. Get the full story »

Uptick in new-home sales still not robust enough

More Americans purchased new homes in November, though not enough to signal better times are ahead for the battered housing industry.

Sales of new homes rose 5.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 290,000 units, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That’s less than half the rate that economists consider healthy. And the increase follows an October sales pace that nearly matched the lowest level in 47 years. Get the full story »

With no tax credit, Chicago home sale prices fall

The good news is that more than half of Illinois counties saw gains in median home sale prices during the third quarter. The bad news is that most of the Chicago area played no part in that good news.

In Cook County, the median selling price fell 14.3 percent during the three months that ended in September, a combination of a 16.3 percent price decline in condos and a 7.9 percent drop in single-family home prices, according to data released Wednesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors. Other counties that experienced price declines were Kane, where the median price fell 13.3 percent; Kendall, down 8.3 percent; and McHenry, down 3.7 percent. Get the full story »

Homeownership at lowest level in a decade

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The nation’s homeownership rate is at the lowest level in more than a decade, hampered by a rise in foreclosures and weak demand for housing.

The percentage of households that owned their homes was unchanged at 66.9 percent in the July-September quarter, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. That’s the same as the April-June quarter.

The last time the rate was lower was in 1999, when the rate was 66.7 percent. Get the full story »

Midwest paces 6.6% gain in new home sales

Sales of new U.S. homes improved last month after the worst summer in nearly five decades, but not enough to lift the economy.

The Commerce Department says new home sales in September grew 6.6 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 307,000. Even with the increase, the past five months have been the worst for new home sales on records dating back to 1963. Get the full story »

Bye, McMansion. Americans go for smaller homes

AGreyson Properties employee walks in front of a Western Springs home his company built. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

Toll the bell for the McMansion. After years of growth, the Census Bureau recently reported that median new home size fell to 2,135 square feet in 2009 after peaking at more than 2,300 earlier in the decade.

“Home buyers are asking for less, cutting back on options and reducing square footage,“ said Steven Pace of the North Carolina-based Pace Development Group, which builds both custom and tract houses ranging in price from below $250,000 to more than $2 million. Get the full story »

Pending home sales fall sharply in U.S.

Chicago-area real estate agents sensed a fall-off in homebuyer traffic last month, and on Thursday, they were validated: Sales contracts on home purchases plunged 32.1 percent in the Midwest and 30 percent nationally in May.

The index of pending home sales, measured by the National Association of Realtors, fell to 77.6 nationally in May from April, far worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted a drop of 11.3 percent from April, to a reading of 98.4. For the Midwest, the index dropped to 70.8, which is a drop of 32.1 percent from April and down 20.2 percent from a year ago.

A reading of 100 is equivalent to 2001’s average level of sales activity. Get the full story »

New home sales plummet as tax credit expires

Sales of new homes collapsed in May, sinking 33 percent to the lowest level on record as potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they could no longer receive government tax credits.