Volume 8, Issue 7 - July/August 2007

Industry Indices

April Home Sales Down From Last Year

Sales of new single-family homes increased 16.2 percent in April 2007 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 981,000 units, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The April sales pace was 10.6 percent below a year earlier.

The increase followed downward revision to the sales rate for the previous month, and the sales pace remained below the one million-unit pace for the fourth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“Builders are pulling out all stops to work down heavy inventories in the face of weak demand that’s been exacerbated by the subprime-related tightening of mortgage credit conditions,” says Brian Catalde, president of the NAHB and a homebuilder from El Segundo, Calif. “Our surveys show that the majority of builders are cutting prices and offering substantial non-price sales incentives, and their efforts are bearing fruit.”

“We are also seeing buyers gravitate toward lower-priced homes to counter their affordability problems,” he adds.

“We’re viewing the large jump in new-home sales for April with a lot of caution, in view of the large month-to-month volatility historically displayed by these statistics,” says NAHB chief economist David Seiders. “In addition, the April bulge may very well have reflected favorable weather swings, particularly in the South region. It also appears that the aggressive sales techniques being employed by builders are now showing some success, despite the subprime-related difficulties in the mortgage market.”

“The first quarter may well have marked the low point for sales volume in the dramatic housing correction that began in the latter part of 2005. We are currently looking for a gradual recovery process going forward, at least on a quarterly basis,” Seiders says. 

The inventory of new homes for sale edged down in April to 538,000 units, equivalent to a 6.5-month supply at the April sales pace and down from 8.1 months in March. Completed homes for sale were 33 percent of the inventory, while units still under construction represented 51 percent of the inventory and units for-sale that were permitted but not yet started represented almost 16 percent of the inventory level. The median length of time that completed homes were on the market was 6.0 months in April. 

  April ’07 March ’07 Difference

Finished Products

Plastic windows 
and their frames 
6,701,039   5,150,698 +30.1% 
Doors and their 
frames, wood 
62,741,385  62,455,190  +0.5% 
Aluminum windows 
and their frames 
24,834,404  26,246,938  -5.38% 
Iron windows or steel and their frames, not stainless   2,260,522  2,679,632  -15.4%
Wood windows, French windows and frames  15,544,664  17,271,215  +10.0% 


Cast and rolled glass  7,617,324  9,173,277  -17.0%
Float glass  693,748  557,721  24.4%
Laminated safety glass  4,980,037  5,111,661  -2.6%
Insulating glass units  19,153,545  14,763,665  +29.7% 
Wood and articles of wood  106,075,872  99,415,781  -6.7

Source: U.S. Commerce Department



   April ’07  March ’07  Difference
Finished Products
Plastic windows, frames 
and thresholds for doors
 8,100,287  7,028,330  +15.3% 
Wood windows, French windows and their frames  5,872,297  5,956,644  -1.4%
and their frames, wood
 10,116,564   9,497,147  -6.5%
Cast and rolled glass  39,303,604  37,982,969  -3.5% 
Float glass  17,742,748  15,270,027  +16.2%
Laminated safety glass  6,839,176  8,583,833  -20.3%
Insulating glass units  6,676,465  7,112,792  -6.1%
Articles of glass  13,093,984  13,047,805  -0.4%
Articles of wood  15,298,778  17,457,780  -12.4%
Continuously-shaped wood  21,395,492  25,895,844  -17.4% 
Source: U.S. Commerce Department


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