Surprised? Existing Home Sales Down in January

Seems the economy is growing beyond expectations even with a decline in home sales. So what happened to real estate being the engine that was driving the economy? I guess everyone cashed out and is spending their profits elsewhere.

…Data from the National Association of Realtors showed sales of existing homes fell for a fifth consecutive month in January as the once-sizzling housing market cooled further.

Home sales down 2.8% in January

Even with the slowdown in sales, home prices held steady. The median price in January — half cost more, half less — was $211,000, unchanged from December.

Not here in NJ; we’re atleast double that price.

Sales of both existing and new homes set records for a fifth year in 2005, but analysts believe sales of existing homes will fall about 5% this year as rising interest rates cut into demand.

Both declines were bigger than expected and occurred even though the weather in January was the mildest in more than 100 years.

Yes, we have to blame someone for the slowdown, so let’s blame those interest rates. Obviously we can’t blame the weather in January because it was the mildest in 100 years.

-Richie

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68 Responses to Surprised? Existing Home Sales Down in January

  1. Anonymous says:

    Both declines were bigger than expected and occurred even though the weather in January was the mildest in more than 100 years.

    what does weather in January have to do with sales that took place in Nov, Dec of 2005?

    also, does anybody know when NJAR usually updates their stats? there is still no Q4 numbers on their web site, even though NAR has already released regional numbers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “what does weather in January have to do with sales that took place in Nov, Dec of 2005?”

    Absolutely nothing. These “January sales” are actually homes that were bought in Oct/Nov/Dec and have just closed.

    Based on the data that Grim has posted here over the past few weeks and months, the sales we’ll see in the coming months should paint an ugly picture for NAR kool-aid drinkers.

    We’ll know for certain in the next 60-90 days if this market will enter its death spiral this year, as the “spring market” comes to pass.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Message to all media: STOP QUOTING REALTORS.

  4. RentinginNJ says:

    Message to all media: STOP QUOTING REALTORS.

    I’m convinced that most of the media is overall pretty lazy. They just take the NAR press release, put their name on it and send it out. There is very little digging, questioning or analysis. They do whatever is easy.

    The NAR is a bias organization with a parochial interest in a strong RE market. They will cherry pick the data to put the best possible face on the market. For example, the NAR press release opens with “Sales of existing homes were down in January while home prices continued to appreciate at double-digit rates”

    For sales, they highlight December to January data, which shows a 2.8% drop in sales. This is much less damaging than the 5.2% drop in year-on-year sales. When it comes to prices, however, they highlight the year-on-year data, which shows an 11.6% increase in prices. This is much more positive than the December to January numbers, which showed no increase in prices.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yahoo Finance has a whole section up — “Get Ready for the Housing Slowdown”:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/special/3realestate06.html

  6. Long ago I stopped drawing conclusions from journalist reports of economic data.

    Despite what anyone says, the immediate impact of the financial markets to new news is the ultimate indicator.

    I didn’t start listening to Bloomberg Radio for nothing.
    They have a cadre of economists and money managers with skin in the game, and are required to fully disclose their biases.

    Caveat Emptor!
    Oh, sorry, that’s someone else’s tagline! :(

  7. gary says:

    I went to a few open houses this weekend and this is what the Realtor pimps told me:

    1) The housing bubble is a bunch of bullsh*t (that’s a direct quote).

    2) Population growth is fueling supply and demand in North Jersey.

    3) House prices may flatten but will not go down.

    4) If I like this particular house, I should consider making an offer quickly because it will not last.

    My wife and I got into a verbal joust with 2 of the 10 realtors we met. At one open house, another potential buyer who was also looking at the house, piped in on our conversation and literal told the realtor he was full of it. We and this guy were like a couple of Raptors ganging up on this realtor.

    I could tell by their demeanor that they’re starting to get frustrated. The tide is turning.

  8. Anonymous says:

    RentinginNJ said…
    I’m convinced that most of the media is overall pretty lazy. They just take the NAR press release, put their name on it and send it out. There is very little digging, questioning or analysis. They do whatever is easy.

    Just go to the website
    http://www.mediamatters.org and you will see how lazy the media is. You will also see the stranglehold that the right has on the media. The so called “liberal media” is in fact not, it is in the back pocket of conservatives.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To Gary:

    May I suggest quote no. 4 to you and your wife??? Listen you know that you are getting a steal of a deal, so go right ahead and make an offer on the darn house and call it a day!!! (LMAO).

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Just go to the website
    http://www.mediamatters.org and you will see how lazy the media is. You will also see the stranglehold that the right has on the media. The so called “liberal media” is in fact not, it is in the back pocket of conservatives.”

    LOL, talk about drinking the kool-aid and ignoring reality!

    Survey after survey shows that the “mainstream” media consist of 90% democrat voters.

    When will Karl Rove get a “news” show like George Stephanopoulos has with ABC News:

    http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/

    Your statements are like a realtor saying “there is no bubble!”

  11. Anonymous says:

    “When will Karl Rove get a “news” show like George Stephanopoulos has with ABC News:

    http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/

    Hint: Karl Rove already has a show like that, and it’s on 24/7. Another hint: It’s called Fox “News” [sic].

  12. Anonymous says:

    gary

    what firm was the loser from?

    lets stay clear… or all show up at the same time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    i thinks we have a democrate on the board, must be a NAR spy… watch your IPs. Both groups are evil

  14. Everyone:

    I know things are getting tough. A family member was getting a re-fi to replace a HELOC on his home. As a favor, he asked me to call the mortgage broker [located in the Southie in Boston] to ask a few questions. Well let me tell you, the broker completely lost his #&$^ on me. All I did was attempt to perform what I believe was reasonable due dliligence and he went berserk for no discernable reason. I can only attribute it to one thing – times are getting tough, especially up there…….

    chicago

  15. Anonymous says:

    Karl Rove already has a show like that, and it’s on 24/7. Another hint: It’s called Fox “News”

    Must have missed that, what time does Karl’s show air? Former Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos is “Chief Washington Correspondent” for ABC News, and has a show on every Sunday:

    http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/story?id=133369

    Then there’s always Dan Rather on 60 Minutes and his forged documents…

    “There is no bubble!”

    “There is no bubble!”

    “There is no bubble!”

  16. Anonymous says:

    “Well let me tell you, the broker completely lost his #&$^ on me. All I did was attempt to perform what I believe was reasonable due dliligence and he went berserk for no discernable reason.”

    Was his beef that you were ‘checking up on him’ or was he just a nutcase?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Carl vs. Hillary

    Actually Dan Rather is too smart to be so stupid. He did it on purpose while making the Evil empire of CBS think that he was hurting Bush.

    Wait til proof of WMD comes out. They found entire late edition figher planes buried in sand. But the media did not report that. Maybe because they were post 1995 French fighters?

    There is no bubble
    There is no bubble

    Get a big loan, you never loose money on a house!!!! NEVER

  18. Anonymous says:

    In today’s USA Today: “That housing bubble has definitely sprung a leak.”

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/buzz/archive/buzz060228.htm

  19. Anon 3:35PM
    “Was his beef that you were ‘checking up on him’ or was he just a nutcase?”

    It was the checking part.

  20. CD Frederick says:

    anyone see the foreclosure data yet?

  21. Anonymous says:

    When the realtors start calling a few tmes a week then you know things are tough. When i went to open ouses and signed in early 1990′s they would call and call and call until I told them off.
    Watch for desperation. I love it!
    It’s coming. lol!

    Then stick it to’em with low bids. Give them a little taste of what rational buyers have faced. Good luck.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dear Anonymous 3:48,

    I see you buy your Kool-Aid at Costco.
    What’s your favorite flavor?

    I hope you don’t hold your breath waiting for proof of WMD’s!

    Post 1995 French fighters? What else did Rush tell you to think?

    I’m surprised you’re not hell bent on running out to buy real estate right now. You’ve obviously bought the bill of goods the criminal Bush administration has offered you. You must be really gullible.

    Peace out.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Oh great. Internet political message board scolds have infected the housing blogs.

    *sigh*

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ahead of the tape
    -today’s market forecast-
    (Mon. 27th)Wall Street Journal
    For the past several years, the big regret among home buyers was that they hadn’t bought sooner, when houses were cheaper. But some people who bought in the past several months probably may regret not waiting until prices got cheaper.

  25. grim says:

    Greetings from chilly and snowy Krakow. If you thought the construction on the “gold coast” was booming, you should see this place.

    Don’t bother even looking at the NAR Q4 stats when they are released, they are at best ‘old news’.

    The NAR data lags so terribly that it really isn’t useful for anything other than propoganda. Once we’re deep into a decline around March, they’ll unveil their Q4 stats with a ticker tape parade to show how well the market is really doing. The papers will all give it front page billing with headlines that read “Home prices up 25%”.

    Unfortunately, it’s only a handful of us that “know better”.

    Caveat Emptor!
    Grim

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hey Grim!
    Why Russia in the winter?

  27. RentinginNJ says:

    Hey Grim,

    I was in Lima Peru last week. Much warmer than Krakow. I saw condos going up everywhere in the nicer sections of Lima near the water. It seems like export of American culture has extended to the condo boom.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The fighter jets Saddam buried in the desert, and found by US troops, were Soviet MIGs, not French:

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/military/sandplanes.asp

  29. Anonymous says:

    RE: “bill of goods the criminal Bush administration”

    Read and learn:

    http://www.freedomagenda.com/iraq/wmd_quotes.html

    Denial is an ugly thing…

  30. Anonymous says:

    Please take the political commentary elsewhere…both parties are corrupt.

  31. skep-tic says:

    Prices still aren’t coming down in the couple of towns I watch. Inventory has almost doubled since January 1 though. The surprising thing is the number of $2 million+ homes on the market. My guess is that most of these people are old and looking to downsize. They can probably afford to cut their prices substantially and still make a bundle (though they haven’t started yet). Makes me think that pricing pressure is going to come from the top

  32. RentinginNJ says:

    Prices still aren’t coming down in the couple of towns I watch. Inventory has almost doubled since January 1 though.

    It’s the real estate version of a Mexican standoff. Buyers know the party is over, but sellers are hoping the storm will pass. Someone is going to flinch first. Based on the buildup of inventory, I am guessing it’s going to be the sellers. The law of supply and demand will prevail in the end.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Front page article from the WSJ earlier this week on real estate in Eastern Europe..

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114101430745984019-email.html

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