Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yet another disappointing housing report

You know, it's hard work coming up with fresh blog headlines pertaining to housing. After all, how do you say "The latest numbers stink" in a different way every few days. Maybe I should try a foreign language (although my French is a little bit rusty).

Anyway, the ugly numbers I'm referring to today were from the National Association of Home Builders. The group's housing sentiment index did not stay flat as expected. Instead, it dropped to 30 in May from 33 in April. That matched the decade-and-a-half low we saw in September. All three sub-indices, which measure buyer traffic, present sales, and expectations for future sales, dropped.

Meanwhile, National Association of Realtors figures show prices are still slumping. The median price of an existing home fell for the third quarter in a row -- by 1.8% to $212,300. That's the lowest level since the beginning of 2005. Prices dropped in 62 of 145 nationwide metropolitan areas.

I said months ago that the "bottom" in housing was still some way off. These figures only confirm that fact. I don't see a lasting recovery until later in 2008 because inventories remain bloated, demand remains weak, and mortgage financing is becoming harder to obtain.


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