Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Existing Home Sales Decline to 4.49 million in January

by Bill McBride on 2/25/2009 10:04:00 AM

The NAR site is having problems again (I'll have graphs soon). Here is a story from MarketWatch: Existing-home sales drop 5.3% in January

Sales of pre-owned homes dropped 5.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million in January, the lowest sales pace in 12 years ...
Here is the NAR Press Release: January Existing-Home Sales Fall, Inventory Down
Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 5.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million units in January from a level of 4.74 million units in December, and are 8.6 percent lower the 4.91 million-unit pace in January 2008.
...
Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 2.7 percent to 3.60 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.6-month supply at the current sales pace. Because sales were down, the January supply is up from a 9.4-month supply in December.
...
“Distressed sales activity appears to be leveling off, although there are wide differences locally. For example, close to 80 percent of all sales are either foreclosed properties or short sales in Santa Ana, Calif., but less than 20 percent in the Chicago region,” Yun said. About a quarter of all inventory is listed as being distressed, but NAR estimates that distressed sales – foreclosed or those requiring a lender-mediated short sale – comprised about 45 percent of all sales in January.