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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Norris on New and Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 6/27/2009 08:36:00 AM

From Floyd Norris at the NY Times: How Bad Is the Recession? Check New Home Sales

... For more than three decades, the sales volume of existing single-family homes and newly built houses tended to rise and fall by about the same percentage, as can be seen in the accompanying charts. To be sure, sales of new homes did tend to do a little worse during recessions, but the difference was small and short-lived.
At the peak of the housing boom in 2005, sales of both existing and new homes were running at twice the 1976 rate. This year, the sales rate for existing homes seems to have stabilized at about one-third higher than the 1976 rate. New-home sales also seem to have stabilized, but at about half the 1976 rate.
New Existing Home SalesExcerpt from the New York Times.

Click on graph for NY Times Graphic.

Norris doesn't mention that the gap between the two series is a result of the extraordinary number of distressed existing home sales. This has pushed down new home sales (the builders can't compete with REO prices), and is keeping existing home sales elevated.

For more, see: Distressing Gap: Ratio of Existing to New Home Sales

I also linked to this post by Professor Brian Peterson earlier this week (including some thoughts prices): House Prices and New versus Existing Homes Sales