Existing-Home Sales Fell 13.1% for 2008

Existing-home sales fell 3.5% year over year in December. Sales rose 6.5% (seasonally adjusted) from November.As we have been noting, the record surge in foreclosures are driving prices down towards affordable, and in some case, attractive levels. Bloomberg noted that sales were “propelled by the biggest slump in prices since the Great Depression.”

The median sales price fell to $175,400 in December, down a record 15.3% compared with a year earlier. For all of 2008, median prices dropped 9.3% to the lowest level since 2004. The December rebound was led by a distressed-property sales, primarily in Western states such as California, Nevada and Arizona. For the month, distressed properties accounted for about 45% of all sales.

The NAR reported that in 2008, the total number of existing-home sales fell 13.1% to 4,912,000; In 2007, the number were 5,652,000 transactions. 2008 was This is the lowest volume since 1997 (4,371,000 sales).

ehsdec2008.jpg Chart via Calculated Risk

Source: Existing-Home Sales Show Strong Gain In December NAR, January 26, 2009 http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2009/01/ehs_shows_strong_gain

U.S. Existing Home Sales Rise on Record Price Slump Bob Willis Bloomberg, Jan. 26 2009 http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9w6qyDggjL0&

Existing-home sales rise 6.5% as prices plunge Rex Nutting MarketWatch, 10:01 a.m. EST Jan. 26, 2009 http://tinyurl.com/c47zd2

Originally published at The Big Picture blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

One Response to "Existing-Home Sales Fell 13.1% for 2008"

  1. Guest- John Cogdill   January 30, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Sale prices of completed homes have fallen substantially due to a massive over- supply. The cost of construction is continuing to increase in some areas, driven mainly by costly changes in regulation ( building codes, zoning & planning regulations, permitting requirements ) & taxation in the form of impact fees. When the supply & demand is again in balence, these regulation driven cost increases will probably cause a large increase in housing costs, delaying recovery and pricing many out of the market altogether.