From the Chicago Tribune:
"About 604,000 new houses sold in December, a 4.7 percent drop from November and a 40.7 percent decline from the end of 2006, according to a report Monday from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
December sale prices, meanwhile, fell about 10 percent from a year earlier.
'This is worse than expected and highlights the dire straits of the housing market,' said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com in West Chester, Pa. 'The floor has fallen out of the housing market.'
Adding to the industry's woes, he said, were 'weak job growth and rising unemployment.'
New-home sales are down 57 percent from the peak in mid-2005, and prices are off 17 percent since spring 2007, Zandi noted, adding, 'This is the worst housing decline since the Great Depression.'