Thursday, October 25, 2007

"New Home Sales Rebound"

So sez the headline.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that sales of new homes rose by 4.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 770,000 units. That level of activity was still 23.3 percent below a year ago, indicating that housing remains in a steep downturn.

Analysts had been expecting sales would fall by 2.5 percent last month from an August sales pace that had originally been reported as 795,000 homes. However, that figure was revised sharply lower in the new report to show a sales rate of just 735,000 in August, the slowest sales pace in 11 years.

In other words, last month new home sales were reported at 795,000, an 8.3% decline from the previous month's 867,000. Last month's number has been revised down by another 8% or so, meaning that last month's decline was actually 18%. So, yes, relative to the adjusted numbers this month's number is up, but it's still lower than what was originally reported. Until it's revised next month.

...shorter me: the number is awful, and the only reason they can call it a "rebound" is because last month's number was much more awful than they originally reported.