Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Existing Home Sales Fall in June? That's Bad

Wow.  With all the 'excitement' yesterday when new home starts rocketed up 14% from the previous month (but still at a level that is about 50% below what economists would consider healthy) today's housing number is awful.  June should be the busiest month of the year, or at worst the 2nd busiest, for moving yet somehow existing home sales (roughly 90% of all transactions) were down on the month 0.8%.

We are not even getting our annual "the housing market has bottomed since anything housing related is spiking in the summer - as it does EVERY year, since its SEASONAL" move this year.  Quite putrid.  I remain of the mind we are YEARS away from a real rebound in housing.

Ironic data for the day Zillow (Z) comes public.

  • Home sales fell 0.8% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. That's far below the 6 million homes per year that economists say represents a healthy housing market.
  • Through the first six months of this year, the sales pace is behind last year's 4.91 million homes sold -- the weakest sales in 13 years. Sales have fallen in four of the past five years.
So why does Wall Street get excited about signed contracts?  It's nonsense.
  • The Realtors' group said a record number of people who signed contracts canceled deals last month.  Roughly 16 percent of home deals were canceled last month, the highest level since such records began being kept more than a year ago. Some buyers have canceled purchases after appraisals showed that the homes were worth less than the buyers' initial bids. A sale isn't final until a mortgage is closed.

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