Monday, March 24, 2008

Existing Home Sales & Supply

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (1) of 5.03 million units in February from a pace of 4.89 million in January, but remain 23.8 percent below the 6.60 million-unit level in February 2007. The sales pace has been in a fairly narrow range since last September.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $195,900 in February, down 8.2 percent from a year earlier when the median was $213,500.

Also in the NAR sales report is the following:

Home prices within metropolitan areas are more telling. The most recent data shows roughly half of the metro areas in the U.S. with price increases, with healthy gains in markets such as Oklahoma City and Trenton, N.J.

What is conveniently left out of this bit of optimistic drivel is that the "most recent data" is from the third quarter of 2007, before all the bad stuff started happening. Some time ago, the NAR cited these statistics and they claimed price increases in two-thirds of metro areas - that was for data through June of 2007.

Look for these claims to disappear as soon as the fourth quarter data is available.