July 25, 2006

HP'ers - dissect the latest NAR existing home sale numbers and give us the real headlines

Being on vaca, I don't have time to do the research to I'm outsourcing it to you the readers

The headline is that prices were up 1%. That's against a year ago! So pull the numbers monthly and report here - what $ and % have homes fallen since the peak and just in the past few months?

The NAR will spin their bad news as good news as long as they can. But eventually even they won't be able to hide the truth. Report on stupid David Lereah quotes today too

Also, I talked today to a developer friend of mine in Scottsdale, and his report is "the bottom has dropped out of this market - it must be the damn inventory!"

Away we go...

Existing-Home Sales Flattening, Prices Cooling – NARWASHINGTON (July 25, 2006) –

Existing-home sales were down modestly in June, and home prices were up slightly from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – declined 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.62 million units in June from an upwardly revised level of 6.71 million May.

Last month’s sales were 8.9 percent below the 7.27 million-unit pace in June 2005.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said the housing market is flattening-out. “Over the last three months home sales have held in a narrow range, easing to a level that is near our annual projection, which tells us the market is stabilizing,” he said. “At the same time, sellers have recognized that they need to be more competitive in their pricing given the rise in housing inventories. Home prices are only a little higher than a year ago.”

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $231,000 in June, up 0.9 percent from June 2005 when the median was $229,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The change in price performance is directly tied to housing inventories – a year ago we had a lean supply of homes and a sellers’ market, with monthly home sales at an all-time record high,” Lereah said.

45 comments:

BC_OR said...

"Existing home sales continue slide; nominal prices flatten out but decline in real terms; inventories soar; latecomer buyers speechless; flippers, realtors, and lenders soil themselves."

Downtown Portland, OR condos are currently listed for sale at over $400/ft., up in many cases 100% in the past 2-3 years and alomst 150% since '00. Flippers made up 14%-18% of buyers in '00-'01; now, they comprise two-thirds to three-quarters (depending upon locale).

I have spotted 3 bubble benches in Portland since Q1 this year. A colossal crash is in the making in Portland.

ecobuilder said...

From CNN Money:
http://tinyurl.com/ku45q

The inventory of homes for sale on the market is now at 3.7 million, up a whopping 39 percent from a year ago. That resulted in a 6.8-month supply of homes for sale at the current sales pace, up from only a 4.4-month supply in June 2005.

*******************
Yehhh guys, supply is 40% up. This is it. So, expect 40% price drop (in average). For phoenix I would go for 60% (from June 2006 level).

David said...

I disected the NAR's numbers.

David
Bubble Meter Blog

Anonymous said...

What do you call a "Homeowner" with an interest only mortgage, and flat or declining home prices?
"A Renter paying 2.5X market Price!"
Still think only renters are throwing money away? Where's fritz when you need him!

spin said...

"Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable."

Mark Twain

BC_OR said...

"What do you call a 'Homeowner' with an interest only mortgage, and flat or declining home prices?"

What do you call a realtor with 10 listings and no sales for three months?

A volunteer.

Realtor_Lover said...

Buyers' Market?

How about a "no-buyers'" market?

new 200 Mbps BROADBAND over POWER LINES said...

MSNBC: Sales of existing homes fell in June
Data suggest once red-hot housing market is cooling

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer

Updated: 2 hours, 47 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Sales of existing homes fell in June for the eighth time in the past 10 months while home prices edged up at the slowest pace in more than a decade — more signs that the housing market has slowed dramatically.

The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of previously owned homes and condominiums dropped 1.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.62 million units.

The median price of a home sold last month was $231,000. That was up 0.9 percent from June 2005 and represented the smallest year-over-year price gain since May 1995.

Story continues below ↓
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advertisement

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The 1.3 percent decline, which was in line with expectations, represented the third drop in a row and the eighth in the past 10 months as the nation's once-booming housing market has shifted to a slower pace in the face of rising mortgage rates.

By region of the country, sales fell 3.5 percent in the Northeast and 2.3 percent in the South last month. Sales were unchanged in the West and the Midwest.

The inventory of unsold homes rose to a new record of 3.725 million units, which is a 6.8 months supply at the June sales pace.

Analysts believe that the growing level of unsold homes will further depress prices in coming months.

David Lereah, chief economist for the Realtors, said he believed that the decline in housing sales was beginning to level out. Sales of both new and existing homes set records for five consecutive years, but economists believe sales this year will post a decline, reflecting mortgage rates that have risen to the highest levels in more than four years.

The big worry is that sales will fall so sharply that it could send shockwaves through the entire economy, much as the bursting of the stock market bubble in 2000 contributed to the 2001 recession.

Economists expect the decline in the economy to contribute to a slowdown in growth but not result in an outright recession.

Lereah said he believed price weakness will continue as sellers start cutting their asking prices in the face of weaker demand and rising inventories.

He said that housing continued to be a "tale of two markets" with previously hot areas experiencing declines and more modestly priced areas showing a boom.

Lereah said that while New York City, Boston, Chicago and Minneapolis had seen sales declines, cities such as Syracuse and Pittsburgh were experiencing rising sales.

By state, Maryland and Virginia were experiencing weakness while Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee were enjoying sales increases, Lereah said.

uknowwhoiyam said...

Holy crap! Nationally, unsold inventory is now just shy of 7 months.

Anonymous said...

WHO SAYS PHOENIX IS GOING TO GO DOWN 60 NO 70% from June 2005 Prices----
I say hello there MR. INVESTOR NEIGHBOR FROM SAN DIEGO WHO BOUGHT 4 houses in 2005---
YOU WERE SO SMUG, WOULD NOT EVEN TALK TO US. I BET THOSE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS FEEL LIKE A HOT STICK UP YOUR ASS RIGHT ABOUT NOW******
ha HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
I JUST RENT FOR 1K A MONTH BET YOU WISH YOU DID.

Anonymous said...

"He said that housing continued to be a "tale of two markets" with previously hot areas experiencing declines and more modestly priced areas showing a boom."

Do you remember the whole dotcom nonsense when the paper companies were going under but then the stock prices of the Ciscos, Oracles, and the S&P500 went up as investors made a mad dash to brick 'n mortar equities. This was before the whole market went down.

Anonymous said...

As for Portland- they can't build enough condo towers downtown. They're going up everywhere. Most start at the %400,000 level.

Are there that many rich empty nesters? That many Californians willing to live in a cubicle? That many software engineers in their 20s with that kind of jack?

It's a gorgeous city, a wonderful place to live but I fear it becoming elitist, a mirror of San Francisco where no one but the well-heeled can afford to live a decent life.

Anonymous said...

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BubbleShanker said...

Don't worry, the 2.7 trillion in arms due by the end of next year, will knock the crap out of all RE across the country, it's like like a gorgious piece of art work!

BC_OR said...

"It's a gorgeous city, a wonderful place to live but I fear it becoming elitist, a mirror of San Francisco where no one but the well-heeled can afford to live a decent life."

Yes, as a satellite of the SF Bay Area cultural/economic region/sphere, as are Seattle and Vancouver/Victoria, BC, it was inevitable that the CA equity flight and credit bubble would push prices through the roof, so to speak, especially given that Portland was late to the bubble.

Believe it or not, Portland, OR has created a grand of 7,700 jobs since '00, according to the BLS employment report, whereas the payroll figure is a little better at 32,000, but the growth rate is only ~0.5%/yr.

Thus, the soaring real estate prices in Portland (75-80% since '00) are directly attributable to collapsing interest rates and qualifying standards for loans, rather than jobs and incomes. In fact, about 60% of net new job growth since '03-'04 is associated with real estate, financial services, and business/professional services directly associated with real estate; the remaining growth has come from local and stat gov't jobs replacing gov't retirees at 80% of salary at retirement.

Take away the credit-induced, speculative real estate bubble in Portland and the rest of the US and a large share of the construction/contractor, realtor, appraiser, inspector, title agent, mortgage broker/processor, real estate-related IT and business services jobs, and what's left to take up the slack? Changing bed pans in nursing homes? Nursing jobs competing with Filipina and African immigrants for $10/hr.?

And forget about Wal-Mart greeter and McD's jobs for the bottom 80%; they are the ones shopping at Wal-Mart on their subsistence retail wages that will disappear with the housing bust.

Anonymous said...

The DOW is skyrocketing, economy fine.

Where is this doomsday collapse all the ignorant Libtards are hoping and praying for? Looks like old Capitalism is doing just fine and your dream of a Socialist Republic of America is again dashed.... Tickets to Cuba are cheap, go through Mexico....get rid of all your Libtard guilt and self hate...Cuba....hmmmm

brokersleaveyoubroke said...

What do you call a realtor with 10 listings and no sales for three months?

Whatever you call him/her it'll be the first call they got in the last 3 months.

brokersleaveyoubroke said...

Mstr. Suite includes an lcd tv in the bathrm mirror.

It's hard to imagine someone with so little class that they would think a TV in the bathroom mirror was cool. It's even harder to imagine they would have 1.5 million to buy the house.

Anonymous said...

Where are the bubble benches in Portland? I would like to show one to a friend of mine that I have been trying to convince not to buy a condo for a "rental investment" property.

spinning_head said...

I love the way the NAR selects which comparison to use..month to month, or year over year.

When it is trying to show sales are only down a little, it's month to month..down around 1% (NOT the 9% y to y drop).

When it's price they say prices are up 1% year to year...but month to month it would be showing a drop most likely.

spin...spin...spin

oh..my head!

spinning_head said...

"The DOW is skyrocketing"

really?!

lets see know..when the fuhrer...whoops, I mean W came to power the Dow was 10,600

5 1/2 years later..the Dow is 11,100

wow...that's almost a 100 point per year gain!

skyrocketing...yeah, that's exactly what I'd call it..lol

have some more coolaide

BC_OR said...

Portland bubble benches: 2100 block of NW Irving and 2300 block of NW Savier. Studios and 1-2 BR units listed at $330-$470/ft. with $200+/mth. HOA fees. Many, if not most, of these units are being resold by flippers (lots of CA transplant realtors selling to each other at this point) who bought before completion.

I know an FDIC examiner who is responsible for the institutions making loans for these properties and others like them; he attempted to raise flags regarding loan loss provisions and other capital requirements and was told to keep his mouth shut and was assigned to other tasks.

This situation is so much worse than the fraud and lunacy leading up to the S&L Debacle and the Keating looting. One of the regional institutions (that shall remain nameless) lending for the flipping of these properties has 84% of its assets in residential and commercial real estate loans, one of the highest in the nation outside of those in FL, CA, and AZ.

Pure manic bubble delusion. Man, is this going to end badly.

Guns_Gold_Good Scotch said...

"The DOW is skyrocketing, economy fine."

LOL!!! Hilarious!!! Adjusted for CPI and the US$ Index since '00, the Dow is at about 6,600!!! OOPS!!!!

The S&P 500 is back to where it was at the Oct. '02 amd Mar. '02 lows. Thus, despite a tsunami of credit, the housing bubble, and profits/GDP at post-WW II highs, stocks are no higher than The Crash lows of '02.

Adjusted for the price of gold, i.e., "actual money", and CPI, the Dow and S&P 500 are at 4,500 and 523!!!! A two-thirds loss of purchasing power versus gold cash/money in six short years of the secular bear market.

Oh, then stocks must really be CHEAP!!! What delusional drivel.

uknowwhoiyam said...

BubbleShanker wrote:
Don't worry, the 2.7 trillion in arms due by the end of next year

$1T, not $2.7T.

Anonymous said...

COME TO MAMA

To real easy reasons:

1. Over built on condo's because they can build them faster and when people get that HP fever and can't afford a SFH or TH they run and buy an overpriced Condo thinking that they are getting in on the hot market. So what falls out first....Condo's and that's the bottom end of the market in price.

2. The richer the person is the less a down turn will effect them. They are out there picking of a property here or there and bringing the stats up.

The stat lesson is fewer sales over all, a lot fewer bottom end sales and top end sales basically unchanged equals an increase in the medium price.

Anonymous said...

"Do you remember the whole dotcom nonsense when the paper companies were going under but then the stock prices of the Ciscos, Oracles, and the S&P500 went up as investors made a mad dash to brick 'n mortar equities. This was before the whole market went down."

I totally remember that -- I worked in the markets then and there was a vibe for about 2-3 quarters where money rotated into software, telecom technology, servers, semiconductors, etc. -- "internet infrastructure" they called it -- and bid those companies up to ridiculous levels. It was just money chasing an idea, without real analysis of the size or profitability of the markets. These real estate boomlets in places like Texas, NC, Pittsburg, the midwest are going to end really badly. The smart money now is staying out of real estate everywhere.

Anonymous said...

"Total housing inventory levels rose 3.8 percent at the end of June to 3.73 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.8-month supply at the current sales pace. By contrast, in June 2005, there was a tight 4.4-month supply on the market."

So people are saying supply is 40% up, so expect a 40% price drop...

LMAO

There's 2.4 months more of inventory, and you guys are thinking there will be big drops.

HELLO!!! You seem to have missed the run up of the past 5 years and now think you're going to get a deal ... doesn't work that way.

Ahahahahahaha ... best you might get is 20%-30% off some condo they built that's on the market now for $600,000. You might be able to get it for $400,000 but likely the bank will just hold onto it.. ... LOL

Mark in San Diego said...

The problem with Portland is California. . .

Equity Bandits from California now have their homes on the market and can't sell!!!. . .they won't be able to move to Portland. There goes the neighborhood. . .I looked at the Pearl District in Portland, and really liked it - Whole Foods, PF Changs. . .all the yuppie necessities. . .but then I looked at the prices, and they were as bad as SF and San Diego. . .and the winter weather sucks. . .so you need a second home in Phoenix. . .although I understand you can buy a nice place there for foreclosure. . .

uknowwhoiyam said...

ecobuilder wrote:
Yehhh guys, supply is 40% up. This is it. So, expect 40% price drop (in average).

Ridiculous. A 40% rise in inventory doesn't mean a 40% drop in prices.

uknowwhoiyam said...

anonymous wrote:
You might be able to get it for $400,000 but likely the bank will just hold onto it.. ... LOL

Banks don't hold onto property.

Anonymous said...

From the New York Times. If the Times starts reporting a "bust" this will filter through much of the MSM, because so many editors and producers take their cues from this newspaper. It's starting.

July 26, 2006
Sales Slow for Homes New and Old
By JEREMY W. PETERS
Selling a new home is getting harder and harder: just ask the builders who are being forced these days to entice potential buyers with expensive inducements like free swimming pools and fancy kitchen cabinets.

At the same time, the torrid pace in the existing-home market is slackening, as prices are leveling off and properties are staying on the market a lot longer than they used to.

Adding it all together, a variety of experts now say, the housing industry appears to be moving from a boom to something that is starting to look a lot like a bust.

“Housing has had a great five-year run,” said Edward Yardeni, chief investment strategist for Oak Associates, a money management firm in Akron, Ohio, and a longtime bull on the economy. While he still does not expect a housing downturn to damage the overall economy severely, he predicts that the housing industry itself is entering a longer decline.

“Instead of being a seller’s market,” he said, “it became a buyer’s market. And once the psychology changes, it could take a while to reverse. Buyers recognize there’s no need to rush out to buy a home.”

The latest housing data, released yesterday by the National Association of Realtors, made clear that a significant slowdown is under way. It showed that the sales pace for existing homes fell for a third straight month in June — the ninth monthly decline since hitting a record last June.

On a seasonally adjusted annual basis, the rate of existing-home sales dropped to 6.6 million, down from 6.7 million in May and well below the record 7.3 million pace reported last June. The number of existing homes still on the market, meanwhile, grew to a record of 3.725 million units, representing a 6.8-month supply at the June selling pace, up from 6.4 months in May.

The shift of the upper hand from seller to buyer is showing up in home prices. Last month, the national median price rose to $231,000, less than 1 percent higher than in June 2005. That was the smallest year-over-year increase in more than 11 years.

Builders are losing their grasp on the new-home market, which is why so many of them have responded by being more aggressive in their use of promotions to sell homes. A new survey by the National Association of Home Builders of 369 builders across the country found that 75 percent are currently including add-ons like pools or garages at no additional cost when they sell a home. That compares with 50 percent a year ago.

A handful of builders reported offering free vacations. None did last July.

Builders are also helping buyers finance their homes. The survey found that 33 percent of builders are currently absorbing financing points on mortgages, which allows homeowners to pay lower monthly rates. Only 18 percent reported doing so a year ago.

When people were lining up to buy, “the only thing they had to complain about last year was getting enough material, labor and land,” said Michael Carliner, an economist with the home builders association. But now, he added, “things are slowing down.”

The home builders association reported last week that builder confidence had fallen to its lowest level in 14 years.

Mike Wainwright, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Mesa, Ariz., says that each time he walks into the sales office of a new housing development, the incentives seem to change.

“It varies from week to week,” he said. “Sometimes it’ll be a pool or $25,000 or even more than $50,000.” He said he has seen cars, kitchen cabinets and flooring thrown in free. Regionally, the slowdown in sales of existing homes last month was most pronounced in the South. The Northeast also fell, while sales in the Midwest and the West held steady compared with May.

One consequence of the slowing housing market, economists and real estate experts said, is a strengthening of the rental property market. With interest rates rising, buying a home is becoming less affordable to more and more Americans. That gives landlords improved pricing power that home sellers now lack.

“A lot of the people that wanted to make a jump to their own home are waiting,” Mark Obrinsky, chief economist for the National Multi Housing Council, a trade group for the apartment rental business. “This year is going to be a much better year than we’ve seen for quite a few years.”

The housing council is predicting the biggest net increase in apartment rentals this year since 2000, Mr. Obrinsky said.

With a growing number of potential buyers moving into rental units or holding onto the homes they own, builders across the country are canceling or delaying housing developments. From Las Vegas to Dallas to Washington, some developers now report abandoning condo projects because sales are not meeting expectations.

Earlier this month, D. R. Horton, the nation’s largest home builder, said it would build fewer homes this year than it initially predicted. It also sharply cut its earnings guidance for the year by 30 percent, citing growing inventories of unsold homes and the increased use of incentives as part of the reason.

And Kenneth Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America, said he thought more projects would be canceled as demand falls.

“Certainly more projects will be scrubbed,” he said. “The risk is too great that they’re going to wind up paying more for the project and collecting less.”

Mr. Yardeni of Oak Associates added: “Home builders will tell you it feels like a recession.”

Realtor_Lover said...

"The stat lesson is fewer sales over all, a lot fewer bottom end sales and top end sales basically unchanged equals an increase in the medium price."

And don't forget all those RTC liquidations in the early to mid-'90s; they didn't show up in the NAR data, so all those properties that eventually changed hands for 30-40 cents on the dollar were not reflected in the NAR, HUD, and OFHEO data.

The point is that we are likely never to see the "official" figures reflect just how bad conditions become, that is, how much median prices "actually" decline.

Anonymous said...

Realtor_lover is right!

I worked at the RTC in 1991 and their sales are not reported. Furthermore appraisers ALWAYS adjust sale cops based on the circumstances of that sale comp (e.g., foreclosures, Deed in Lieu, REO, etc.,) causing many buyers to pay more than they should for a property.

The inventory levels are all at record highs and in San Diego have suddenly stopped rising, but this just means the quiet before the storm as many will interpret this as a bounce back, but things will just stagnate for a long time as more and more property owners decide they can no longer hold onto false hopes, and the REO and foreclosure stats begin to pile up. That and diminished demand exacerbated by everything else that is ocurring (war, oil, rates)will bring down prices by 40%-60%, but that's based on buyers who can negotiate and exploit the conditions at that time. Property seldom falls that far on its own. You have to push it down when the market is weak.

Former REO Marketing Analyst at the RTC

autofx in Phx said...

LOL!!! Hilarious!!! Adjusted for CPI and the US$ Index since '00, the Dow is at about 6,600!!! OOPS!!!!
~
Yup. Wanna see somethin' really funny? Dig up one of those charts that shows the Dow or the Nas priced in terms of GOLD.

The stock market has already crashed, and very badly, but most people don't know it.

not buying the bubble said...

Actually, the stock market hasn't crashed so much as gold has crashed.

If you held a basket of stocks like the Dow for 40 years you would be very wealthy compared to owning the same dollar amount of gold for 40 years.

Anonymous said...

but the dotcom/tech bubble under sleazy willie was good for everyone!!! it was all bush's fault that pets.com failed

Anonymous said...

I live in the Vancouver, WA area that is just across the Columbia River from Portland, OR. I've been here for a number of years and yes, the winter can be cold, wet and lousy at times. The area has been bled dry from the Californicators to the realtors trying to zap every $$ out of it. They priced a lot of us out of the market, temporarily. The Portland paper ran a piece recently on the number of new high rise condos that are planned or under construction and this was gleefully reported on one of the local TV news channels. The Vancouver paper reported this weekend that the median price of a home in Vancouver/Clark County, WA had appreciated by a certain amount according to the local board of realtors. What was hidden in the article was that the number of homes actually sold decreased 21.5% over the January-June period of time compared to last year. A lot of properties are bought on IO and ARMS and will crash when people can't make their payments. I rent my home for less than half what it would cost me to buy. Forget about the great paying jobs that are coming here. It's mostly government and service sector. As for the bubble, it's just beginning here....

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