Tag: sales

Home sales “unexpectedly” revised for mass media headlines

I’m not sure if The Associated Press is now a subsidiary of the National Association of Realtors, but their headlines sure make them seem that way…

Home sales unexpectedly rise in April :

Sales of new homes rose in April for the first time in six months although the unexpected increase still left activity near the lowest level in 17 years.

The headline should have said…

“Home sales ‘unexpectedly’ revised downward for March so April’s look much better, and we hope the NAR will stop telling their members that the housing decline is entirely the fault of the press”

The downward revision / “this month’s great” game has been going on for some time.

UPDATE: Even easier – New Home Sales Fall 42%.

Housing in pictures

Picked this up via Calculated Risk (h/t to Barry Ritholtz):

existing-home-sales-inventory-months-supply

My first thoughts were:

  • Things started hopping saleswise after those quasi-governmental organizations (whomever they may be) picked up steam buying loans (in 1993);
  • Inventory didn’t seem to be keeping up with demand in the earlier years, yet to my recollection housing prices weren’t soaring then; and
  • Sales really started dropping off a year ago, but I do remember the National Association of Realtors still yaking back then.

So it’s part easy credit (obviously) but part lack of decent forecasting on the part of major builders as well (or, did a bunch of amatuers jump in late?). Who knows. But as I stared at the graph, I got the feeling inventory and pricing could (with emphasis) work itself out pretty quickly.

Then I looked at this again (compliments of NYT):

inflation-adjusted-home-values

…and the warm fuzzies disappeared.