Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's called a correction

Most Federal Reserve-controlled "economists" look at this housing data as a negative. It doesn't occur to them - or, if it does, they'll never admit it - that housing prices are dropping because their value was artificially inflated, and sales are dropping because they're still over-priced. Viva la depresiĆ³n!

Existing-Home Sales Decline Unexpectedly; Market Weak

    CNBC -

    Existing-home sales dipped unexpectedly last month after a four-month streak of gains, providing evidence that the housing market recovery remains fragile.

    AP

    The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales dropped 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.1 million in August, from a pace of 5.24 million in July.

    Sales, which were still up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, had been expected to rise to an annual pace of 5.35 million, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

    "We suspect it is just a temporary blip in the improving trend rather than a sign of renewed weakness," wrote Paul Dales, U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

    First-time buyers purchased almost one in three homes last month. New homeowners will get an $8,000 tax credit if they complete the transaction by Nov. 30, which the credit expires.

    "There is strength in the market and we will see stronger sales through November," said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

    Lawrence Yun, the Realtor's chief economist, said the drop may reflect delays in completing sales due to tough lending standards and new rules for appraisals.

    Nationwide sales are up nearly 14 percent from their bottom in January, but are still down nearly 30 percent from their peak nearly four years ago. For the housing market to stabilize, Yun said, sales would need to rise to a pace of around 5.5 million to 6 million per year.

    If buyers see clear evidence of stable prices, the housing market recovery can be self-sustaining, Yun said, adding, "We are not there yet."

    The median sales price was $177,700, down 12.5 percent from $203,200 in the same month last year.

Home sales drop 2.7 percent

    Associated Press -

    Home resales dipped unexpectedly last month after a four-month streak of gains, providing evidence that the U.S. housing market recovery remains fragile.

    The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales dropped 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.1 million in August, from a pace of 5.24 million in July.

    Sales, which were still up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, had been expected to rise to an annual pace of 5.35 million, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

    "We suspect it is just a temporary blip in the improving trend rather than a sign of renewed weakness," wrote Paul Dales, U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

    Nevertheless, there is a key unknown on the horizon. A tax credit of up to $8,000 for new homeowners expires on Nov. 30. Congress is facing intense pressure from real estate agents and homebuilders to extend it, but it's unclear whether lawmakers want to spend more money to prop up the housing market.

    "There is strength in the market and we will see stronger sales through November," said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

    Lawrence Yun, the Realtor's chief economist, said the drop may reflect delays in completing sales due to tough lending standards and new rules for appraisals.

    Nationwide sales are up nearly 14 percent from their bottom in January, but are still down nearly 30 percent from their peak nearly four years ago. For the housing market to stabilize, Yun said, sales would need to rise to a pace of around 5.5 million to 6 million per year.

    If buyers see clear evidence of stable prices, the housing market recovery can be self-sustaining, Yun said, adding, "We are not there yet."