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January Real Estate Market Stats

Here is the January existing home sales report from the National Association of Realtors.  The highlights relevant to our business were:

  • 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.