The Commerce Department says that sales were down 1.8%, the slowest pace in 13 years and a decline worse than what had been expected, reports Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press.
The numbers come on the heels of yesterday’s news that home prices fell by record levels in January.
The jury is still out on when this listing ship will begin to right itself, but many analysts believe the slump could last into 2009. Housing is being hurt by tighter lending conditions as banks continue to react to increasing mortgage defaults and hesitant prospective buyers, who are waiting to see if prices fall even further.
Real estate ETFs were lower by about 1.5% intraday on the glum news:
- iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate (IYR)
- iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors (ICF)
- DJ Wilshire REIT (RWR)
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.