Wednesday, October 25, 2006

L.A. Times: Existing home sales drop 1/3 from 05

Wow, I'm impressed. The word plunge appeared on the front page of the L.A. Times website, though the actual story title is not quite so dramatic. Anyway, the October 26 story by Jesus Sanchez sort of tells us what we already know.

The California median sale price for existing SFRs is now $553,050. It still blows my mind that the median price in this state is over half a megabuck. In this golden state, we have truly lost our senses. Maybe we've been out in the sun too long.

September sales fell YOY by 31.7%. The median number of days it now takes to complete a sale (I'm not sure if they mean "days on market") is now 54, up from 30.

Leslie Appleton-Young, the chief economist at the California Associaton of Realtors (CAR), observes that areas where there has been a lot of building and areas where there have been active second-home markets are the areas getting hit with bigger sale declines and weaker prices. So far, California is running well ahead of the nation, which shows a 14.2% slip in home sales for September.

And now for further information from CAR. The organization's unsold inventory index now stands at 7 months, up from 3.2 a year ago. 227 out of 381 California communities (59.6%), still are experiencing rising median home prices. It's hard to kill a good bubble, isn't it?

For Los Angeles, the September median resale home price is $585,730, -0.7% from August but up 4.4% YOY.

Tonight I'll try to put up other measures of beach cities market activity for September.


Blogger bearmaster said...

An addendum from the Daily Breeze story of October 25, 2006 titled "Housing prices pick up steam on the way down":

Chief economist David Lareah is again flapping his lips about a bottom. However, I see in the data I'm going to publish tonight that in the beach cities for September, inventory has doubled and sales are about half what they were a year ago. We may pause for a few months on the way down, but I think we're still going down.

Anyway, here is the DB story for your amusement. David Lareah is starting to sound an awful lot like Herbert Hoover:

oday is Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Originally published Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Updated Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Housing prices pick up steam on the way down
New, 9:10 a.m. Sales fall for sixth straight month in September and median price drops on an annual basis by the largest amount on record. Some say worst of downward trend is over.
By The Associated Press

Sales of existing homes across the United States fell for a sixth straight month in September and the median sales price dropped on an annual basis by the largest amount on record, further documenting a lukewarm housing market.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes fell by 1.9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted sales pace of 6.18 million units, the slowest sales rate since January 2004.

The median price of a single-family home fell to $219,800 last month, a drop of 2.5 percent from the price in September 2005. That was the biggest year-over-year price decline in records going back nearly four decades.

Housing, which had set sales records for both new and existing homes for five consecutive years, has been rapidly losing altitude this year, as consumers were battered by rising mortgage rates, soaring energy prices and a slowing economy.

However, economists with the Realtors said they believed the housing decline could be hitting bottom.

"The worst is behind us as far as a market correction _ this is likely the trough for sales," said David Lereah, the Realtors' chief economist. "When consumers recognize that home sales are stabilizing, we'll see the buyers who've been on the sidelines get back into the market."

However, analysts said that the weakness in housing could last for several more months with a real upturn in sales not occurring until next spring.

Sales were down in all sections of the country except the South, which posted a small 0.4 percent increase. Sales fell the most in the Northeast, a drop of 3.7 percent, followed by the West, where sales were down 3.1 percent, and the Midwest, where sales fell by 2.8 percent.

The inventory of unsold homes, after climbing to all-time highs, fell for a second straight month, decreasing 2.4 percent, to 3.75 million unsold homes at the end of September, which represents a 7.3 months supply at the September sales pace.

Sales of single-family homes dropped by 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 5.42 million units while sales of condominiums fell by 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 763,000 units.

The 2.5 percent drop in the price of single-family homes pushed them down to $219,800 while condominium prices fell by 3.2 percent to a median price which was also $219,800.

1:17 PM, October 25, 2006  
Blogger bearmaster said...

I was unable to publish the Shorewood data tonight because I think there is an error in it and I'm asking them to recheck the number of sales. They'll probably get back to me tomorrow.

9:41 PM, October 25, 2006  

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