US sales of new single-family homes fall 12.6% in January

24 February 2011 16:09  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US sales of new single-family homes fell by 12.6% in January, the Department of Commerce (DOC) said on Thursday, reversing course after two monthly gains.

In its monthly report, the department said that sales of single-family homes - considered the core of the US housing sector - were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 284,000 in January 2011, compared with the downwardly revised December figure of 325,000 units.

In addition, new home sales were 18.6% below the pace seen in January 2010, when sales of new single-family homes were estimated at 349,000.

January’s 284,000 new home sales were only slightly higher than revised figures of 280,000 and 281,000 in October 2010 and November 2010, respectively, and far below figures from the first four months of 2010.

The housing market is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as paints and coatings, plastic pipe, insulation, adhesives and synthetic fibres, among many others.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each new home built represents some $16,000 (€11,680) worth of chemicals and derivatives used in the structure or in the production of component materials.

The department’s data showed that the 12.6% January decline was led by a 36.5% drop in new home sales in western states and a 12.8% reduction in southern states.

Additional reporting by Joe Kamalick

($1 = €0.73)

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