New Home Sales Plummet 14.5%

Median price jumps $30,000 to $290,000.

Apr 23, 2014 at 11:16AM

New single-family home sales plummeted 14.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 for March, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today. After February's rate was revised up 9,000 to 449,000, this latest report delivers a major blow to the purported housing market recovery. Analysts had expected growth, predicting March's annual rate to clock in at a strong 455,000. 

Nh Sales


On a regional level, only the Northeast managed to stay in the black, with sales up 12.5%. Sales in the South fell 14.4%, while sales in the West dropped 16.7%, and Midwest sales crumbled 21.5%. In the past 12 months, national sales of new homes are down 13.3%.

At the current rate of sales, there is an estimated 6 months of supply, a full month more than in February. The Wall Street Journal said that "arguably unsustainably high prices" are the main culprit behind this month's major drop. At $290,000, the median sales price of a new home jumped nearly $30,000 in a single month. 

These latest numbers follow on the heels of a National Association of Realtors existing home sales report released yesterday showing that March sales of existing homes slumped 0.2%. 


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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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