The double dip in housing is getting worse by the month. After hitting a nearly 6.6 million in existing home sales in late 2009, the number has now plunged to 5.02 million, a decline of 0.9% sequentially, and a major drop from the artificially induced peak. Sales for single-family homes were down and were up for condos and co-ops, indicating a preference for smaller, cheaper units among a population concerned with record unemployment and expiring homebuyer taxes. The number came on top of expectations of 4.98 million, with the range being from 4.75 million to 5.2 million units. Sales in the Northeast and Midwast improved slightly, even as sales in the South and recently bubble West declined. Yet the biggest stunner was the months of supply on market which jumped by a 20 year high, from 7.8 months to 8.6 months.
The double dip in the data is unmistakable. Existing home sales SAAR:
And months of inventory:
As expected, the speculative snow scapegoating campaign continues: NAR chief economist, said widespread winter storms in February may mask underlying demand. “Some closings were simply postponed by winter storms, but buyers couldn’t get out to look at homes in some areas and that should negatively impact near-term contract activity.” This is getting ridiculous and hilarious as the drop in SAAR rates occurred in the West (i.e., California), where last time we checked snow was just a little less of an issue. But whatever, the propaganda war must be won at all costs.
Full release from the NAR spin masters.