Thursday, June 26, 2008

Glass is half full...

The WSJ reports:

"Home resales rose to a 4.99 million annual rate, a 2.0% increase from April's unrevised 4.89 million annual pace, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The median home price was $208,600 in May, down 6.3% from $222,700 in May 2007. The median price in April this year was $201,200 (see chart above).

High inventories have exerted downward pressure on prices. The decline has kept would-be buyers from signing off on property as they wait for still-lower price tags."
Reuters reports that:
"The housing market has been shaken for months by a credit crunch and a wave of failing home loans that have spooked lenders and prospective buyers.

The disappointing new homes data is nonetheless in line with the pace of the last eight months, which have seen sales hover around the 5 million level, said Paul Bishop, a senior economist with the National Association of Realtors."
Aren't these reports missing the following seemingly good news: After declining for 7 out of the last 8 months, median home prices have increased for 3 months in a row, and the median price of $208,600 in May was 6.65% above the $195,600 level in February?

1 comment:

Stan said...

But Dr. Hall, the rising average re-sale value doesn't tell the whole story. What's the inventory of homes available by price range? It could well be that the higher income families that have more confidence in their futures purchased more of the homes available, skewing the average. I'd venture a guess that the inventory of un-sold homes is rising and that there are far more of them not moving in the lower price ranges because their potential purchasers can't afford to buy them.

Just a thought...