Friday, May 25, 2007

Existing Home Sales Report: April 2007

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report for March showing continued and uniform weakness of the nations housing markets.

Without missing a beat, the new “fill-in” Senior Economist Lawrence Yun continues to suggest that the weakness is indicating stabilization.

“We’ve been anticipating slower home sales because many subprime loan products are no longer available … In addition, increased scrutiny by lenders is stopping risky mortgage origination, which is good for both consumers and the lending community. Fortunately, a wide availability of conventional mortgage products and the 4.5 million jobs created over the past 24 months will help to stabilize the market going forward.”

Additionally, NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs continues to attempt to scare buyers into action with the threat of increased interest rates.

“Long-term financing remains favorable, but interest rates are rising … Although some buyers have a wait-and-see attitude regarding home prices, they should consider that rising interest rates later this year could offset a lower sales price when you get down to the monthly payments.”

Looking at March’s Existing Home Sales report should only result in additional confirmation that the nation’s housing markets are continuing to experience weakness with virtually all regions showing considerable declines to median price and sales as well as significant increases to inventory and monthly supply.

Sales are, in fact, down in EVERY region with the majority of declines in the double digits.

Keep in mind that we are now seeing existing home sales declines on the back of last years fairly dramatic declines further indicating that the housing markets are not bottoming as many had suggested last fall.

Below is a chart consolidating all the year-over-year changes reported by NAR in their April 2007 report.

Particularly notable are the following:

  • Majority of median prices are down.
  • ALL sales are down.
  • ALL Inventory and Months Supply show HIGH double digit increases on a year-over-year basis.