Monday, October 27, 2008

Housing sales up year-over-year; prices down

From CNNMoney:
Sales of existing homes rose in September, but prices continued to drop, according to the latest reading on the battered housing market by an industry trade group released Friday.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales by homeowners jumped in September to an annual pace of 5.18 million, up 1.4% from a year ago. It was the first time that sales rose compared to a year earlier since November 2005.

September sales were up 5% from the August reading of 4.91 million, marking the largest month-to-month increase since July 2003. ...

Though the numbers were encouraging, they do not yet suggest the problems in the housing market are behind us. September's numbers represent contracts signed in July or August — before the mid-September credit crunch tightened the stranglehold on lending and sent confidence in the economy crashing. Sales figures for October and November are likely to reflect this credit freeze. ...

Finally, experts say that foreclosed properties are driving this sales jump.

"Compared to a fairly small share of foreclosures or short sales a year ago, distressed sales are currently 35% to 40% of transactions," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with NAR. "These are pulling the median price down because many are being sold at discounted prices."

So it's unlikely that the worst is over.
Drop prices, sell houses.


  1. Four words at the end there that make a lot of sense!

  2. Home sales over the last year are largely a fuction of wealth consolodation.

  3. "function" of weath consolodation.

    What I mean is: People and entities with the cash and/or the ability to get a loan are doing the buying. Assets are moving into a progressively smaller set of hands.

  4. What I mean is, people who can afford to buy do so. As opposed to the recent past in which people who could not afford to buy did so. Now we have a stableization of buyers as opposed to a frenzy of buyers.

  5. Joe six pack ain't buyin'. The socio-economic gap is widening.

    I'm on the upside of that gap. The question I have is: how soon before I'm on the other side?