- January Existing Home Sales fell 5% from December to a 4.5mm annual rate. This is 9% below last year. All numbers are seasonally adjusted.
- The NAR folks say that people were waiting to see what they could get from the stimulus package (new home subsidy is $8K for first time owners).
- Inventory rose from 9.2 months to 9.4 months. This is NOT seasonally adjusted. Could increase as spring homes are placed on the market. Historical average is 6 months. The actual inventory fell in January, but sales fell further so the inventory measured in months increased slightly.
- Average home prices are down 15% (NAR) to 18% (Schiller) from a year ago.
- The Northeast has been clobbered the past two months. The situation improves steadily as you move West. Sales in the West are 85% foreclosure, but are up 29% from a year ago. Prices are down 26%.
- Overall, 45% of all transactions were for foreclosed homes.
There was no good news in January, except for the West.