The Commerce Department reported Thursday that sales fell 10.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000, the worst showing on records going back to 1963.
It was a weaker showing than the pace of 330,000 that economists expected, and shattered the previous all-time monthly low set in September 1981. Only the Northeast saw sales rise in January from the previous month.
With nationwide sales sagging, an inventory barometer also ballooned to a record high. The government said it would take 13.3 months at the current sales pace to exhaust supply. That puts even more downward pressure on prices.
The median sales price fell to $201,100 in January, a record 9.9 percent drop from the previous month. The median price is the midpoint, where half sell for more and half for less.
Remember -- what's important from an "end of the cycle" perspective is for the rate of change in price to slow down. Considering the latest month over month rate of change and massive amount of inventory we're nowhere near that point right now.