Housing numbers are down

And inventory is up.

Rates are low.
Home price appreciation is slowing.
Inventory is up. Significantly.

note: as soon as I figure out how to upload an image via coding, rather than depending on my normal program, I will.

Regarding NAR’s press release: They have an obligation to present the facts, and their best opinions. Everybody has opinions and interpretation of data. Assumptions and conclusions may (and usually do) differ.

Take this for example:

Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – dipped 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.18 million units in September from a level of 6.30 million in August, and were 14.2 percent below the 7.20 million-unit pace in September 2005, which was the third strongest month on record.

And compare NAR’s spin:

“The good news is that fewer new listings are coming online. A stable sales pace is expected to draw down the number of listings to a supply balance that will support positive price growth within a few months. Taking the long view is always the best way to approach housing decisions, and right now, buyers are in a very favorable market.”

With the Calculated Risk’s “alternate” take on the report:

Sales plummeted 16.3% from September 2005. This is a record YoY (Year over Year) Sales decline.

Median Prices dropped 2.2% from September 2005. Bloomberg: “… the biggest year- over-year decline since record-keeping began in 1969.”

Locally in the Charlottesville region (inclusive of Charlottesville/Albemarle/Fluvanna/Greene/Louisa/Nelson), the market has slowed. Using a quick YoY analysis, in September of 2005, 333 residential properties closed. In September 2006, 211 closed – quite a drop year over year.

Listings under contract – September 2005 – 305 listings went under contract. In September 2006 – 214. Sit down. Take a breath. It will be ok.

And here you have the Virginia roundup from The Housing Bubble Blog, while Dewita’s calling NoVa a Buyers’ Market. A different one, but a Buyers’ Market all the same.

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5 Comments

  1. cville_libertarian October 26, 2006 at 16:22

    Hi Jim –

    I’m over from c’ville news, and I’m curious what you see when you gaze into your crystal ball locally. Specifically, do you see negative prices “close in”? In Albermarle? What about the further out stuff (Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson)? I would expect that if c’ville/alb. were flat or negative, it would drop the pressure on the much further out development.

    Thanks!

  2. Jim Duncan October 26, 2006 at 16:31

    Thanks for stopping by. I will answer this as soon as I return from coaching my daughter’s soccer team.

  3. Jim Duncan October 27, 2006 at 11:52

    Sorry for the delay … let me pull my crystal ball from the drawer, shine it up real good …

    As the market stands right now, I do not see negative prices. I do see significantly less price appreciation than we have seen for the past 5-7 years.

    I see (somewhat hopefully, because I live here, too) less rapid new construction, which will have far-reaching impacts, as new construction touches so many different industries – think carpenters, electricians, other professional tradesmen, marketing companies, printing companies, Realtors …

    As the rate of appreciation returns to a more reasonable level (as I have said many times before), the impact on farther-out developments to a certain degree. But – as our region and its economy have become more segmented, I think that the impacts will be tempered a bit.

    Also, our region has historically been insulated by the dramatic ups and downs due in no small part to the university’s impact. They are constantly growing, for better or worse, and that does not show any signs of changing.

    Disclaimer: This my current opinion, given the facts of today as we know them. I reserve the right to change my opinion should circumstances change. 🙂

  4. cville_libertarian October 28, 2006 at 14:49

    Thanks! I guess I feel as if the short term rapid development of Greene and Fluvanna in particular would cool off, but I guess that’s really only a measure of cooling in the population growth of the area. The underlying drivers for our economy don’t seem to be as recession sensitive, so I guess that the exurban development will really continue. But yeah, seems like there’s going to be a slowdown for a lot of the RE market secondary sector – construction and sales (mortgage, agents, etc.).

    The big downturn in the GDP numbers are interesting too, and tie into this.

  5. Jim Duncan October 30, 2006 at 11:01

    I hope that helps … I think that the rate of growth the the sub- and exurbs will slow, but that it will continue.

    Now that Domino’s is open in Crozet, growth is sure to come quicker!