All real estate is local but …

Pending contracts for existing homes fell 7.7% in January, more than double “experts'” prediction.

Pending resales are considered a leading indicator because they track contract signings. The Realtors’ existing-home sales report tallies closings, which typically occur a month or two later. The pending index was first published in March 2005 and included data going back to January 2001.

The group’s index decreased to 80.4 in January, the lowest level since records began.

Three of four regions dropped, led by a 13 percent slump in the Northeast and a 12 percent slide in the South. Pending sales increased 2.4 percent in the West.

Compared with January 2008, pending sales decreased 6.4 percent.

Sales of previously owned homes, which account for about 90 percent of the market, fell in January to the lowest level since 1997, according to the Realtors group. New-home purchases, which make up the rest, plunged to the lowest level since records began in 1963, Commerce Department figures showed.

The median price for existing and new houses decreased in January from a year ago, the reports showed.

There are, I think, two groups of sellers in town right now, the desperate and the willing. If you’re just willing to sell, either brace yourself for a long wait and hope that the market comes back a little or join the desperate,who will have to price their house at fifty cents on the dollar to grab the current pool of buyers’ attention. I know that sounds a little negative, and I’m sure to hear about it from my peers, but that’s what I see right now. Your vision may well be better. I hope so.


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2 responses to “All real estate is local but …

  1. anonymous

    That’s seller side of equation

    Consider buyer side…how big is pool w/job security, creditworthiness, ability to sell existing home (in case of move-up buyers), i.e., confidence, risk tolerance and liquid financial resources….and how many will consider option to wait to better “time” a U-shaped pattern (if they believe it’s U, not V-shaped)…everyone is a market timing wannabe, right?

    Residential RE is a fascinating slow-motion market indeed, esp for those accustomed to studying various volatile equity or debt markets closely

  2. Thanks for all. This is very very good