Magazine article Economic Trends

The Housing Market

Magazine article Economic Trends

The Housing Market

Article excerpt

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Sales figures for single-family homes were relatively good in October--the key word being relatively. In the market for new homes, sales increased 1.7 percent in October, which wouldn't be noteworthy under normal conditions. But considering that sales have fallen an average of 2.4 percent per month over the past 27 months, a slight increase seems rather positive. In the market for existing homes, sales were virtually unchanged in October, which, again, wouldn't be noteworthy except for the fact that it is the best showing in the series since February. In fact, October marked only the fourth time since the end of 2004 that sales of neither new or existing single-family homes fell. And though that seems like great news, keep in mind that both of these numbers are preliminary and will be revised in the months to come.

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Looking at the long-term trend, this month's positive figures are more or less lost. Since peaking in mid 2005, new and existing single-family home sales are still down 47.6 percent and 30.6 percent, respectively. In addition, the median sales prices of both new and existing single-family homes are down a little more than 10 percent from two years ago. …

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