Real Estate With Split Personality?
"The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of previously owned single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted sales pace of 6.76 million units."
"Sales of existing homes fell in April, and the price posted the smallest increase in 4 1/2 years, new signals that the nation's once red-hot housing market has cooled."
Yawn... does the real estate industry really need a dues collecting organization to officially bring up the rear riding a pinto and selling old news?
"Sales of both new and existing homes set new records for five straight years as the housing industry enjoyed a boom powered by the lowest mortgage rates in more than four decades.
However, rates have been rising this year, with 30-year mortgages climbing this week to a nearly four-year high of 6.62 percent, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday."
"David Lereah, chief economist for the Realtors, said he expected the 30-year mortgage would keep rising and would be near 7 percent by the end of the year. He said that was consistent with his view that the country was heading for a soft landing in housing but not a crash."
"However, other economists worry that with a large overhang of unsold homes and rising mortgage rates, the industry could be facing a more severe outcome."
"Inventory levels are simply out of sight," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors, a private consulting firm. "Something has got to give and that is likely to be prices."'
"For April, the total number of unsold homes hit a new record of 3.38 million units, which represented a six-month supply at the April sales pace. The time period needed to exhaust the current supply was the highest since January 1998."
"Lereah said the data the Realtors are collecting indicate the housing industry is still experiencing a split personality with once hot markets in Florida, California and Arizona slowing down while some housing markets which had been lagging behind the front-runners are starting to take off."
'"This is a tale of two markets. Half of the country is heating up and half the country is cooling off," Lereah said."