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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Real Estate Statistics: October, 2008

A little late this month with our roundup, but here we go...

The Quick Summary
There were small suggestions of improvement in the September numbers. These have been eradicated since the fall of Lehman, and ensuing economic news. Caution and deliberation remain the bywords in real estate locally and nationally. Huge inventories without adequate demand are the operative factors.

Supply and Inventories
Permits, Starts and Completions, (PDF): Declined 40.1%, 38.0%, and 25.96% from October, 2007. The reading for housing starts is the lowest on record, (Data begins in 1959.)

Single family starts, the most meaningful of indicators are now 71% less than the peak in Jan, 2005. This sector dropped 42.9% in the South from one year ago. Nice charts at Calculated Risk for those readers who are more visual.

New Home Inventories, (PDF): Are down 25% from one year ago in terms of raw numbers, but when inventories are expressed as months of supply, a measure that encompasses current demand, we saw a rise to 11.1 months. Six months of supply would be a nice place to be.

Existing Home Inventories followed the same pattern, a decrease in raw number of homes for sale, but a discouraging rise in months of supply at 10.2. This has been a long established trend that simply reflects the drastic declines in demand.

Demand Side Data
New Home Sales, (PDF): 40.1% less than last year, and 68.8% less than the peak in 2005. New home sales in the South declined by 38.5% from October, 2007.

Existing Home Sales, 3.1% less than Sept, 2008, and 1.6% less than last October. Prices fell by a record 11.1% from one year ago.

Forecasts Anyone?
In fact, in its latest estimate the NAR indicated that 45% of existing home sales are foreclosures. This puts a damper on any assertions that this sector has stabilized. Delinquencies are expected to double in 2009, so any existing home sales numbers will have to be scrutinized.

The Wall Street Journal had a detailed look ahead today
, the cover story in the personal finance section. The bottom is a ways off, still.

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Black Bear Realty Website
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