Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sales In February Below Their 2005 Highs

Link To This Post

February existing-home sales figures for the nation were released today by the National Association of Realtors. Although sales were up from January, they were still down when compared with the year prior. No matter how NAR tries to spin this, it still comes out bad. Homes are selling for higher prices than they did in 2005, and yet, there are more homes on the market there were at that time. What does that mean? The word "pop" comes to mind.

A PDF of the chart is available from at this link.

Here's an excerpt of text from the press release with most of the spin edited out and replaced with the highly useful "..." feature:
Existing-home (sales) rose in February following five months of decline ... Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – increased 5.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.91 million units in February from an upwardly revised pace of 6.57 million in January, but were 0.3 percent below a 6.93 million-unit level in February 2005 ... According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.25 percent in February, up from 6.15 percent in January; the rate was 5.63 percent in February 2005 ... The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $209,000 in February, up 10.6 percent from February 2005 when the median was $189,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less ... Total housing inventory levels rose 5.2 percent at the end of February to 3.03 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace – the same as in January.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble