Something strange is going on in the northeast. The region, which the housing bubble's construction boom largely ignored, is seeing its new home sales continue to fall while they have been rising in other regions. In June, new home sales fell to the lowest level on record in the northeast, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. What's going on there?
Here's the historic chart:
You can see a few fascinating things in this chart. First, the big increase in new home sales didn't come in the early 2000s -- it came in the 1980s. Sales did rise a bit when the housing bubble began inflate in the late 1990s, but only a bit.
But the bubble's pop in 2007 decimated new home sales in the northeast just like it did everywhere else. They were cut in half when the boom ended, from the spring 2007 to spring 2008. The home buyer credit conjured up a little bit of demand in 2009 through 2010, but sales have been declining since the credit expired a year ago.
In June, just 16,000 new homes were sold in the northeast. May provided just 19,000. You can see from the chart that sales are trending down especially since late 2010, other than a blip in January.
To compare this with what's going on in other regions, here's a bonus chart that breaks out the numbers since 2000: