New Home Sales Hit Record Low

McMansion
McMansion

The number of new single-family houses sold hit a record low in January, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, raising new questions about the already shaky recovery of the housing markets.

"The road to a housing and economic recovery remains very uncertain," says David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. "Competition from below-market-priced foreclosed and short-sale homes poses an additional challenge to the new-homes market right now.

New homes sold in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000. That represents a drop of more than 10 percent from the annualized rate of sales in December of 348,000 a year, and a more than 6 percent drop from January 2009's rate of 329,000 homes.