The number of people who bought new homes fell for the fourth straight month in July, putting sales on track to finish this year as the worst on records dating back half a century.
Sales of new homes fell nearly 1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's less than half the 700,000 that economists say represent a healthy market.
Housing remains the weakest part of the economy. Last year was the worst for new-home sales on records dating back a half century.
And look at this last sentenceWhile new homes represent less than one-fifth of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs and $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
A telling sign of how bad things have gotten for the housing industry: Prices have dropped more since the recession started, on a percentage basis, than during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
And it took 19 years for prices to fully recover after the Depression.Read it all