The headlining story on MSNBC right now is home sales rise a bit but prices fall sharply.
Michelle Meyer, an economist at Lehman Bros., said the rise in sales was partly a response to falling prices and a recent dip in mortgage rates
“The pickup in home sales reflects stabilization in demand and the first signs that the housing market is beginning to balance,” she said in a note to clients.
Economist Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors said the report “does not point to a major housing meltdown,” but he noted that there is a “huge” supply of unsold homes and condominiums on the market.
The number of homes on the market is up 34 percent from a year ago and represents a supply of more than seven months at current sales rates, compared with an average of just four or five months in the boom years of 1999 through 2005.
“The housing market is far from the bottom,” Naroff said in a research note. “Sellers will have to overcome their state of denial and start dropping prices even more to clear this market. And once that happens, we will then have to convince buyers that prices have stopped falling. We are a long way from that point.”
There are concerns at the federal level that if the housing slump across the USA continues or gets worse that it could cause bigger problems for the US economy that has already started to slow down. Its suprising that this is a problem across most of the country. What ever happened to the maxim “all real estate is local”?