Remember having the NAR report on home sales is like having Bernie Ebbers report on MCI earnings. Don't forget that the NAR doesn't take into account the massive use of incentives to move dead inventory, and their data collection methodology is laughable.
But here's the latest for HP'ers keeping score at home.
The National Association of Realtors, the country's trade association for real estate agents, reported that national sales of existing homes, both single-family homes and condominiums, sagged 12.7 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. Sales were down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.27 million units, the NAR reported.
Nine states had sales declines of 20 percent or more over the summer with the biggest declines in states that were once the hottest. Sales fell by 38 percent in Nevada; 36 percent in Arizona; 34.2 percent in Florida and 28.6 percent in California
Not surprisingly, the weakness in sales translated to price declines -- 45 metropolitan areas in the country experienced price declines, including the Washington area, according to a separate survey also released today by the agents' association.
I saw this funny spin on the Lereah quote over at seekingalpha:
Perhaps the usually hallucinogenic David Lereah, the Realtors' chief economist, got it is right this time: "With the market in full transition, buyers now have choices [read: more inventory] and sellers are more willing to negotiate [read: desperate]. Under these circumstances, it's no surprise that overall home prices are slightly below a year ago."
November 28, 2006
Posted by blogger at 11/28/2006