Another Weak Housing Report

The National Association of Realtors released their monthly report on existing home sales today. It generally describes a housing market that is still not stabilized.

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 5.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 4.49 million units in January from a level of 4.74 million units in December, and are 8.6 percent lower the 4.91 million-unit pace in January 2008.

Single-family home sales fell 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.05 million in January from a pace of 4.25 million in December, and are 7.1 percent less than a 4.36 million-unit level in January 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $169,900 in January, which is 13.8 percent below a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales dropped 10.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in January from 490,000 units in December, and are 20.3 percent lower than the 552,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price4 was $174,400 in January, down 20.6 percent from January 2008.

Inventory levels were down. Current inventory represents a 9.6 month supply of single family residences. Purchases of distressed property continues to dominate activity accounting for approximately 45% of all activity.

Just glancing over the data, there may be some signs that the rates of decline are moderating. The next few months-the Spring selling season-are going to be critical. There’s going to be a good tailwind for housing due to low interest rates and tax incentives. If the industry data continues to be this weak with thaat stimulus then the longer term prospects are not going to be attractive.

more: here

P.S. I’ve mentioned Calculated Risk before but probably should again. If you are interested in housing and want to follow it more closely then they are the best source on the web for that data.

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