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NEW HOME SALES DOWN 13.8 PERCENT IN JANUARY

 WASHINGTON, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- New home sales fell 13.8 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 561,000, the Commerce Department reported today.
 "Although this is a larger decline than anticipated, we view this as a temporary aberration," said J. Roger Glunt, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "December sales may have been somewhat inflated after the election while weather-related factors may have contributed to January figures somewhat lower than expected."
 Home sales fell 39.4 percent in the Northeast to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 43,000 and registered 133,000 in the West, down 28.5 percent. They fell 7.8 percent in the Midwest to a rate of 107,000 and remained unchanged at 278,000 in the South.
 "While we view these numbers with concern, snow and cold in the Northeast and heavy rains in the West contributed to the sharp drop off in these regions," said Glunt. "Despite these setbacks, we expect the housing market to pick up steam in the coming months."
 Glunt attributed his optimism to a number of factors: interest rates continue to decline, inflation remains low, a pent-up demand among consumers who put off buying a home in the weak years of 1990 and 1991 and a general feeling among the American people that Washington is serious about tackling the federal deficit.
 "NAHB agrees with President Clinton that long-term deficit reduction deserves high priority attention to keep long-term interest rates down and supports the president's efforts to boost the economy in the near-term by enacting a short-term stimulus package," said Glunt.
 -0- 3/2/93
 /CONTACT: Jay Shackford of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0406/


CO: National Association of Home Builders ST: District of Columbia IN: CST SU: ECO

IH-TW -- DC046 -- 2156 03/02/93 17:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 2, 1993
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