Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yeah, Right!

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
Sales of previously owned homes edged up slightly in March but not enough to keep the inventory of unsold homes from hitting a record high as the once-booming housing market continued to flash signals of a slowdown.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes edged up a tiny 0.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.92 million units.

The March increase followed a bigger 5.1 percent jump in February with the two months representing the first advances since five consecutive monthly declines.
And also this:
Total housing inventory levels rose 7.0 percent at the end of March to 3.19 million existing homes available for sale. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $218,000 in March, up 7.4 percent from March 2005 when the median was $203,000.
I call BS on the NAR and their heavily revised numbers. As pointed out on Ben Jones' blog, that 7% increase in inventory figure is a monthly figure; inventory is actually up a breath-taking 39% year-over-year (and the condo market is up a whopping 85% year-over-year).

The fact is that on a national basis, this so-called "Spring bounce" is turning out to be a pathetic dud which is to be expected at the start of the pop of the bubble. And given that mortgage applications are down it is only going to get worse. The NAR is trying to stave off a potential panic by spinning the data. Other bloggers are calling the NAR on their deception (i.e., here, here, here, here, here). Even the bond market is signaling its skepticism.


Blogger peterbob said...

So we've got sales down 0.7% YOY and inventory up 39% YOY.

It won't be long before prices start to drop significantly.

Apr 25, 2006, 12:35:00 PM  

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