Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Short Lived Price Declines

Lereah had this to say:

"Could it be a 5 percent drop in prices? Could it be 10 percent? Whatever it is, it will be short-lived, because demand is right there on the sidelines," said David A. Lereah, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lereah Changing Tune

From Marketwatch: Existing home sales fall 1.3% to 6.62 million:
Inventories at 9-year high; price gains at a 10-year low

The report shows a continued weakening in the housing market, with inventories up sharply while prices are softening.

The inventory of unsold homes rose to a record 3.725 million, a 6.8 month supply at the June sales rate, the highest since July 1997.

The median price has risen 0.9% in the past year to $231,000. It's the weakest price growth in 10 years.

Sales of existing homes are down 8.9% in the past year.

"I hope we are hitting bottom," said David Lereah, chief economist for the private real estate trade group, which is predicting sales of about 6.60 million this year.
Sales were flat in the West and Midwest. Sales fell 2.3% in the South and fell 3.5% in the Northeast.

Single-family sales fell 0.9% to 5.81 million from 5.86 million. Condo sales fell 5.5% to 805,000.

Median prices of single-family homes are up 1.1% in the past year, while condo prices are down 2.1%.

Sellers should expect lower prices, Lereah said, adding that he wouldn't be surprised to see single-family home prices fall nationally.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

David Lereah Expects Soft Landing

Sales of U.S. homes will ease modestly but should stay within a narrow range for the remainder of 2006, a real estate agents' trade group said on Tuesday.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a monthly forecast that it expects sales this year of existing homes to fall 6.7 percent to 6.6 million units, the third highest yearly level on record, from 7.08 million in 2005.

NAR also said it expects new home sales to fall 12.8 percent to 1.12 million units from 1.28 million in 2005, and for housing starts to dip 6.8 percent to 1.93 million units from 2.07 million last year.

"We should see home sales rise and fall month to month, but don't look for any big shifts one way or the other," National Association of Realtors chief economist David Lereah said in a statement.

"The major housing indicators have been moving up and down within a reasonable range, which means the market should even out just below present levels," he said. "At the same time, housing inventory levels are balanced in much of the country, so overall price appreciation will be at a normal rate." (Reuters 7/18/06)