Existing home sales bounced back in August after plunging nearly 30% in the previous month.
Sales of previously-owned homes rose 7.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.13 million units last month, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. That's up from 3.84 million in July, but down 19% from a year ago. ...
"I would call August's number less toxic — it wasn't pretty but it wasn't the ugliest," said Mark Tepper, managing partner of Strategic Wealth Partners. "We're still down 21.5% from June and sales dropped significantly in July, so the hurdle was just so low that you almost had to beat it." ...
After steadily rising in previous months, the inventory of homes on the market edged down 0.6% in August to 3.98 million units.
But that's enough supply to last 11.6 months. To hit a balance between supply and demand, inventory should only last 4.5 to 6 months, said Tepper.
Such swollen inventory levels will continue to pressure home prices, he cautioned.
The median price of homes sold in August was $178,600, down 1.9% from the previous month and up a slight 0.8% from a year ago, the report showed. About a third of homes sold during the month were in foreclosure. ...
What does this mean for home-buyers and sellers?
"If you're a homebuyer, sell now if you can," said Tepper. "If you're looking to buy, wait a while."
That's because prices are likely to sink another 10% to 25% in the next 18 to 24 months as the economic recovery remains sluggish, said Tepper.
"This whole housing mess is a disaster that's going to last a while," he said.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Existing home sales down 19% YoY
Existing home sales for August were up 7.6% month-over-month, but down 19% year-over-year: