They are out and they are BAD. The stock market meltdown and the job losses are obviously starting to show in the numbers. The number of new homes sold was the lowest since 1981! That's BAD.
Existing-home sales – including single-family, town-homes, condos and co-ops – fell 8.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million units in November, from a downwardly revised level of 4.91 million in October, and are 10.6 percent below the 5.02 million-unit pace in November 2007. ( those numbers put us back in 1998 territory).
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said he expected a decline. “The quickly deteriorating conditions in the job market, stock market, and consumer confidence in October and November have knocked down home sales to another level. We hope the home sales impact from the stock market crash turns out to be short-lived, as was the case in 1987 and 2001,” (Well it doesn't hurt to hope Lawrence.)
Total inventory also increased to an 11.2 month supply. (Isn't is supposed to go down this time of year?).
Sales prices for existing U.S. homes fell the most on record in November, tearing a deeper hole into households’ already tattered finances. The median resale price fell 13 percent from a year before, to $181,300, “probably the largest price decline since the Great Depression".
“November sales just collapsed,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. “Price declines are accelerating. As bad as this is, it’s going to be considerably worse in a month’s time.”
“Housing is still in a freefall,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.