New home sales decline in Sept.

New home sales beat predictions for September. Unfortunately, they dropped from August's level, and are expected to drop more steeply next month, as the effects of Sept. 11 more fully show their impacts. New home construction is a significant business driver for landscape contractors.

The median price of a new home fell to $162,400, the lowest so far in 2001. The Northeast saw the greatest reduction, a 26.5% drop from August's level. The Midwest, by contrast, saw new home sales rise more than 21% in Sept. Unfortunately, analysts see little reason for optimism for the remainder of 2001 and early 2002; the current recession is expected to last at least until mid-2002.

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