The National Association of Realtors has released its October report. Sales are down, prices are down, but inventory is up:
Sales of existing homes fell further in October even as more homes came on the market, driving the supply of homes to the highest level in 22 years, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.
Sales dropped 1.2% to a 4.97 million seasonally adjusted annualized pace in October, the real estate advocacy group said. The sales pace is the lowest since 1999, when the group began tracking combined sales of single-family homes and condos.
Sales are down 20.7% in the past year and are down 31% from the peak of 7.21 million two years ago.
Inventory has gone up 15% from 3.86 million last year to 4.45 million this year.
The NAR release states:
Single-family existing-home sales were stable in October while the condo sector was down, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Lingering effects of the credit crunch were a drag on sales but the mortgage situation has improved significantly.
Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – eased by 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million units in October from a downwardly revised level of 5.03 million in September, and are 20.7% below the 6.27 million-unit pace in September 2006.
With the largest year-over-year decline we’ve seen since the housing market began it’s decline, "eased" isn’t the word I would have chosen:
Home prices also "eased." The NAR states:
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $207,800 in October, down 5.1 percent from October 2006 when the median was $218,900, but there is a downward distortion from the temporary problems with jumbo loans that slowed sales in high-price markets, and that dragged down the national median.
Also distorting the mean, however, are incentives offered by buyers, so as usual, median price is not always an accurate reflection of same home appreciation. In addition, ongoing difficulties in the jumbo sector are putting downward pressure on more expensive homes. As these homes fall in value, it will put additional pressure on homes already within the conforming limit to drop their price as well, in order to compete.
At $207,800, October’s median price was the lowest reported by the NAR since March 2005 when the median price was $201,500. The 5.1% decline is the greatest year-over-year price decline we have seen since the market downturn began: