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California New-Home Sales Down Again in September, CBIA Announces

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However, year-over-year declines continue to shrink

SACRAMENTO, CA – November 13, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — New-home sales in California continued to remain below levels seen a year ago, but the year-over-year declines have continued to shrink, the California Building Industry Association reported today.

The monthly CBIA/Hanley Wood Market Intelligence (HWMI) New-Home Sales and Pricing Report showed that sales in new-home communities of 10 units or more were 11 percent below September 2008, an improvement from the 13 percent year-over-year decline last month and the much higher declines in previous months. During September, 2,310 new homes and condominiums were sold in the subdivisions tracked by Costa Mesa-based HWMI, compared to 2,580 in September 2008. Sales of single-family homes were down by 17 percent, while sales of townhomes and “plexes” – duplexes, triplexes, etc. – were down 11 percent and sales of condominiums were 12 percent higher than a year ago.

Compared with the same period last year, the median base price of homes sold dropped by 6 percent.

Non-seasonally adjusted total new-home sales were 12 percent below levels seen last month. This is also an improvement from the 18 percent decrease seen last year for the same month-to-month period.

Jonathan Dienhart, Director of Published Research for HWMI, noted the September numbers were in line with expectations.

“As we’ve been noting in recent months, the data trend is pointing to having a flat year-over-year sales situation by the end of 2009. This continues to be a good sign that the housing market is stabilizing, but given the dismal conditions in 2008 that we are comparing the figures to, does not yet signify a recovery,” said Dienhart. “Broader economic issues, especially job losses, will continue to be a drag on the housing market and prevent it from a return to healthy equilibrium.”

Liz Snow, CBIA’s President and CEO, noted the improvements in year-over-year declines but added that the California Legislature should follow the lead of Congress and act to bolster the housing industry in hopes of boosting home sales and reinvigorating job-generating new-home construction.

“While it’s great to see incremental improvements in new-home sales, the fact remains that the numbers are still down and we have yet to enter into a recovery,” said Snow. “We applaud Congress for expanding the first-time homebuyer tax credit, and after the success of California’s new-home buyer tax credit enacted earlier this year, we believe California should follow suit and act to bolster the housing industry and continue the positive momentum generated by the state tax credit earlier this year.

“The housing industry is one of California’s leading economic generators and is critical to a recovery in the overall economy. Strengthening our industry would only help to put more people back to work and generate much needed revenues for state and local government, and we hope the Legislature takes these factors into account when deciding on future legislation.”

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The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association representing thousands of homebuilders, remodelers, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers, and other industry professionals. More information is available on the Association’s Web site, www.cbia.org.

Hanley Wood Market Intelligence is the housing industry’s leading provider of rich data and consulting services on residential real estate development and new-home construction and is a division of Hanley Wood, LLC, the premier media company serving housing and construction. More information is available on the company’s Web site, www.hanleywood.com/hwmi or by calling 1-800-639-3777.

Hanley Wood Market Intelligence (HWMI) collects data from new for-sale production subdivisions of 10 units or more on a monthly basis. HWMI Net Sales represent sales contracts signed during the period indicated minus any reported cancellations. Median and Average Prices are based upon the minimum asking price of the plans sold during the period and do not include the cost of any lot/view premiums or upgrades. Because this data is collected monthly and based upon sales contracts that represent future closings, HWMI data is the most forward-looking data source available for new home information in the state of California.

To subscribe to CBIA press releases and receive them as they are distributed, please visit the newsroom section of our Web site and click on the RSS subscription button.

Contact:
Michael Castillo
Communications Manager
(916) 443-7933 ext. 346
mcastillo (at) cbia (dot) org

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Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with nearly 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Contact:

Los Angeles - Executive Office:
525 South Virgil Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90020-1403
Phone: (213) 739-8200
Fax: (213) 480-7724

Media:

Mark Giberson
Phone: (213) 739-8304.

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