December 22, 2010

Existing U.S. Home Sales Pace Up 5.6%, Down 27.9% Year-Over-Year

The pace of seasonally adjusted existing-home sales in the U.S. increased 5.6 percent from October to November but remains down 27.9 percent on a year-over-year basis for the fifth slowest pace on record (4.68 million).

And while months of existing housing supply (inventory over sales) fell 9.5 percent from 10.5 months in October to 9.5 months in November, it remains 46.2 percent higher on a year-over-year basis with 3.71 million units currently on the market.

The pace of existing-home sales in the West increased 11.7 percent from October to November, down 19 percent year-over-year.

Existing-Home Sales Resume Uptrend with Stable Prices [realtor.org]

First Published: December 22, 2010 10:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

The fifth slowest pace on record yet 30-year mortgage rates are still under 5% and the foreclosure pipeline grows. The stock market might have rebounded but it doesn't feel like we've turned the corner wrt housing to me.

Posted by: Michael at December 22, 2010 3:46 PM

That's because we've not turned the corner. Housing is surprisingly stable, but it is also stubborn and slow to react. I'm honestly surprised by the fact that homes are still selling and for not so horrible prices. Sure, certain 05-09 vintage sales are getting killed to the tune of 10-40%, but we're seeing some gains, and the majority of prime SF is trending towards the -20% off peak (just a total guess / gut feel). I think we'll see some slight decreases on average, more 05-09 mark to market adjustments, but we seem to be hovering around 2004 prices so I suspect we'll stay here for a few more years and maybe 2012 will bring some good news if interest rates stay below 6% over the next year. But if you are buying at today's market prices you will probably fare ok over the next 7 years. And if you bought before 2004 you might even make a few bucks if you sell.

Posted by: eddy at December 22, 2010 5:35 PM

09, Eddy? Really? Also, you can look at any chart for 2004 and see that the spike happened late in that year. Late 2004 might be the same as spring 2007 for some properties.

Posted by: [anon.ed] at December 22, 2010 6:01 PM

The Prestige Index doesn't disagree with eddy, for what it's worth, on Prime SF being around 2004. Before anyone jumps on me for it, I realize that the Prestige Index measures Prime Bay Area, rather than specifically Prime SF. As I mentioned, last quarter is about 7% above the Q2 2001 peak and about the same as Q4 2004.

Case-Shiller October is out next Tuesday, right?

Here is my post from earlier (see the link):

The prestige index is up for Q3:

http://www.firstrepublic.com/lend/residential/prestigeindex/sanfrancisco.html

Down almost 1% from 447.10 last quarter to 443.52, and down almost 17% from the peak of 533.17 in Q3 2007. This quarter's number is within 1% of December 2004 and is about 7% above the Q2 2001 peak.

Posted by: sfrenegade at December 7, 2010 1:45 PM

Posted by: sfrenegade at December 22, 2010 6:31 PM

Watch that prestige index, SFR. It's put out by a bank that writes a lot of mortgages. If they upset the realtors, their business dries up.

It's not an objective source, though decently accurate.

FWIW as of 4.21 interest rates ago, prices were at 2004. They'll settle out around 5% for a while at least, and that's a different story. Prices will not hold at 2004.

The lower end has dropped to as low as 1999.

Posted by: tipster at December 22, 2010 8:58 PM

"The lower end has dropped to as low as 1999."

any credible source for your opinions?

Posted by: anonee at December 23, 2010 8:26 AM

Yeah, "TIPSTER" where is your source, you liar.

And it had BETTER be right in the center of town and sold for EXACTLY its 1999 price, not one penny off.

Um. OK, it's right here:

151 Alice B. Toklas #506

Dec 21, 2010 Sold (MLS) (Sold) 650,000

Apr 05, 1999 Sold (Public Records)$650,000

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/151-Alice-B-Toklas-Pl-94109/unit-506/home/1434749

anonee: Tipster, that's a sale date two days ago.

tipster: yes, it is. What's the problem?

anonee: well, that means you knew about the sale two days ago, before you wrote the post I complained about.

tipster: yes, I did.

anonee: so that means the statement I complained about was a trap, and I walked right into it.

tipster: I'm afraid so.

Posted by: tipster at December 23, 2010 9:51 AM

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