Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Existing Home Sales Report Not That Bad

The NAR put out its quarterly Median Sales Price report for single-family homes as of Q2. Even though this is a snapshot of the recent past, I did not find as much weakness as I would have thought. Overall, the median sales price for the entire U.S. fell -1.5% from Q2 2006, but was higher than last quarter (Q107).

For the major cities I track, here are the recent figures:
  • Chicago (+1.7%)
  • Los Angeles (+2.9%)
  • Miami (+2.0%)
  • New York (+1.7%)
  • San Francisco (+7.6%)

These are pretty surprising figures, and show no declines in these major cities. Given all that we hear about the bubble in home prices over the last several years, these figures continue to lend themselves to the notion of a soft-landing in housing.

Of course, given what is currently going on in the subprime market and the credit markets in general, it will be more telling to see how prices are affected in next quarter's report (since these prices dont' reflect what has transpired since July).

Other notable areas that have been strong in recent years and are on more real estate watcher's radar include:

  • Las Vegas (-3.6%)
  • Phoenix (-2.7%)
  • Portland (+5.2%)
  • San Diego (+0.2%)
  • Washington DC (+0.3%)

The strongest areas in the report were cities like: Salt Lake City (+21.9%), Salem (+16.7%), Binghamton (+19.8%), Farmington (+14.0%), Seattle (+8.9%), San Jose (+8.8%), and Charlotte (+8.3%).

The weakest areas in the report were cities such as: Palm Bay, FL (-15.0%), Elmira, NY (-17.9%), Davenport, IA (-11.3%), Sarasota (-11.3%), and Cleveland (-7.1%).


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