The Commerce Department today said new-home sales dropped 1.8% in February to their lowest level since February 1995; the level also was down 30% from February 2007.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson also said today that the housing correction should run its course, and the government can only help soften its impact on the economy and markets.
The housing downturn and the surrounding uncertainty are significantly impacting our financial institutions and capital markets. Amid this correction, there are many calls to do something about housing, Mr. Paulson said in prepared remarks before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
The to-do list tends to get conflated. We must sort through each of these shared and desired outcomes, carefully choosing policies that minimize the impact of but do not slow the housing correction, Mr. Paulson said. We will continue to pursue policies that strike the right balance: that do not slow the housing correction, yet also help avoid preventable foreclosures and unnecessary capital market turmoil.