Existing Home Sales Fall 5.7% In December

From Bloomberg:

U.S. December Existing Home Sales Fell 5.7% to 6.60 Mln Rate

Sales of previously owned homes fell in December for a third straight month, evidence that housing demand was starting to falter at the end of a record year.

Home sales fell 5.7 percent to a 6.60 million annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Sales, which have been slowing from a record monthly pace reached in June, still finished 2005 at an all-time high of 7.072 million.

Sales were expected to fall to a 6.87 million annual rate from 6.97 million in November, according to the median of 59 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Forecasts ranged from 6.75 million to 7 million.

The supply of homes for sale, another measure of housing demand, fell to 2.796 million in December from 2.924 million the month before. That represents 5.1 months’ worth at the current sales pace, up from 5 months’ worth in November.

The NAR December EHS data can be found here:

NAR December 05 EHS

In the Northeast sales were flat in December, however, compared with last year sales were down -3.5%, the second highest behind the West that came in at a -11.4%.

Median Home Price has fell again in the Northeast to $245,000 in December from a high of $254,000 set in August. This represents a decline of approximately 3.5%.

Caveat Emptor!

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10 Responses to Existing Home Sales Fall 5.7% In December

  1. skep-tic says:

    interesting that inventory has been steadily building since last march. seems like the market turned even earlier than many thought

  2. grim says:

    Inventory did fall this December, but it matches with what we’ve all seen and heard anecdotally, it just so happens that demand fell more.

    However, come January, I believe the EHS Inventory is going to be pushing 5.4 months or more.

    We’re going to start to see speculators rushing for the exits in the next few months.


  3. grim says:

    NAR cheerleader Lereah continues to do his thing:

    Existing Home Sales Fall for 3rd Month

    David Lereah, chief economist for the Realtors, said he expected price increases to slow this year as sales drop by around 5 percent. He said this would represent a cooling housing market but not a collapse as some analysts had feared.

    “This is part of the market adjustment we have been discussing with a soft landing in sight for the housing sector,” Lereah said.


  4. skep-tic says:

    “Existing Home Sales Set Record for 2005”

    here’s the headline of the story from today’s NYTimes.

    America’s leading newspaper!

  5. Rich says:

    Sales from November to December are flat in the Norhteast.
    BUT, overall single-home sales are actually MUCH lower when you take out the sale of condos.
    Wonder what the single-home sales in the Northeast would be with the condo sale taken out?

  6. chaoticchild says:

    Would Dec sales number meant houeses “closed” on Dec? Wouldn’t these houses went in contract in Oct/Nov????


  7. grim says:


    Correct, closed in December.


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