Friday, October 24, 2008

Existing Home Sales Report: September 2008

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report for September indicating some initial signs of increased buying activity particularly for regions where median prices have declined most dramatically.

It’s important to note that many of the September home sales initially went under agreement well in advance of the historic and unprecedented declines in the stock market and associated plunge in the macroeconomic state and consumer confidence.

It is altogether possible that after having reached a temporary footing between August and September sales will again break and fall back again resuming annual declines as consumers cope with widespread economic uncertainty.

Furthermore, we are continuing to see SOLID declines to the median sales price for both single family homes and condos across virtually every region.

As usual, the NAR leadership continues its spin with President Dick Gaylord suggesting that the recent sales numbers suggest that buyers looking for good investments are coming off the sidelines:

“Credit tightened at the end of September, but the improvement demonstrates that buyers who’ve been on the sidelines want to get into the market to make a long-term investment in their future.”

The following (click for larger versions) are charts showing sales for single family homes, plotted monthly, for 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as national existing home inventory and month supply.

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