Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home Sales and Prices Plunge

Given the continued explosion in M1, which I look at as an indicator of fear in the economy, the drop in November home sales should not come as a surprise.

Sales of both new and existing homes fell in November, and did prices.

Sales of existing homes, which include single-family homes and condos, fell 8.6% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million units in November, a 10.6% drop from a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.

Meanwhile, sales of existing single-family homes plunged 8.0% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.02 million in November from 4.37 million in October, representing the lowest sales activity since July 1997.

The national median existing home price fell to $181,300, a decline of 13.2% from a year ago, and the largest drop since the trade group began its survey in 1968. Lawrence Yun, the trade group's chief economist, said it was likely the largest decline since the Great Depression.

The total inventory of unsold existing homes rose 0.1% to 4.20 million in November, the highest since the 1980s. This represents a supply of 11.2 months, up from 10.3 months in October.

New-home sales fell for the fourth month in a row during November, and prices remained below year-earlier levels.

Sales of new single-family homes decreased by 2.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 407,000, according to the Commerce Department.

Year over year, new-home sales were 35.3% lower than the level in November 2007.

The Commerce Department report Tuesday showed there were an estimated 374,000 new homes for sale at the end of November, representing a 11.5 months' supply at the current sales rate. In October, an estimated 402,000 were for sale, an 11.8 months' inventory.

The median price of a new home plunged 11.5% to $220,400 in November from $249,100 in November 2007. The average price decreased 9.2% to $287,500 from $316,800 a year earlier. In October this year, the median price was $214,600 and the average was $279,500.

Regionally last month, new-home sales fell 7.1% in the South and 16.4% in the Midwest. Sales rose 11.0% in the West and 14.3% in the Northeast.

An estimated 28,000 homes were actually sold in November, down from 33,000 in October, based on figures not seasonally adjusted.

Given the amount of money the Fed is pumping into the system will be much, much stronger in 2009, than most expect.

1 comment:

  1. Does the surge in M1 mean that "when the fear goes" and the M starts circulating that inflation will take off?

    If so "we have nothing to fear but the lack of fear itself."