April 26, 2006

New Home Prices Down YOY, Record Inventory

The Census Bureau has new home sales numbers out. “Sales of new one-family houses in March 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000. This is 13.8 percent above the revised February rate of 1,066,000, but is 7.2 percent below the March 2005 estimate of 1,307,000. The median sales price of new houses sold in March 2006 was $224,200.”

Median Prices in $:









Inventory for sale at end of period:











“The new home sales report showed signs the housing market has slowed from peak levels. The median home price slipped 2.2 percent from a year earlier to $224,200, the first year-over-year decline since December 2003, the Commerce Department said.”

“The number of unsold homes fell to 5.5 months’ worth at the current sales pace from 6.3 months in February. The number of homes for sale at the end of March was a record 555,000. ‘I am worried about the potential for a trailing-down process that gains some momentum’ in the housing market, David Seiders, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, said. ‘I hope the Fed doesn’t overshoot’ on raising interest rates.”

“The strength in home sales, if it persists, could keep the economy growing faster than the Federal Reserve wants and could lead to higher interest rates than now expected. The government cautions, however, that its housing data are subject to large sampling and other statistical errors. The margin of error is so large, in fact, that the government cannot say with confidence that sales rose at all in March.”

A comparison. “New home sales increased in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.213 million. The pace of new-home construction continued its orderly cooldown in March. Total housing starts dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.960 million units in March, according to figures released by the Commerce Department.”

The Dallas News. “William Quinn has been managing American Airlines Inc.’s pension funds since 1980. He now manages $48 billion in assets. ‘(The) problem is that we are building more houses than we need on a national level. Housing has the potential to slow down the economy as people realize this,’ Quinn said.”

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Comment by garcap
2006-04-26 06:46:17

It’s not surprising to see new home sales volumes rise with lower median prices at this point in the cycle. The builders take share of overall sales (new and existing) when the market turns because they are aggressive on price while the typical homeowner/specualtor remains in denial.

Comment by bottomfisherman
2006-04-26 06:57:02

Finally, we can officially bury the Realtor BS that ‘REAL ESTATE ONLY GOES UP.’


Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 07:28:33

It looks like that could already have been buried after the 9-11 attacks…

Comment by yensoy
2006-04-26 09:57:33

The 9-11 attacks (and the .com bust) were major contributing factors to the real estate bubble. Investors suddenly felt RE to be “safer” because it was a “solid investment” unlike stocks which dipped rather precipitously after the attacks. It was all about “America” and “homeland” (Department of “Homeland” Security anyone?). It was a time to look inwards, nest (and make babies). This is basic human instinct.

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Comment by Van Housing Blogger
2006-04-26 10:11:13

The US economy was in bad shape even before the attacks. The NASDAQ crashed in 2000, not 2001. As pivotal as that day was in world history, we shouldn’t attribute more economic impact to it than actually happened.

Comment by Larry Littlefield
2006-04-26 06:46:53

“The strength in home sales, if it persists, could keep the economy growing faster.”

Better for everyone if prices fall quickly to a level people can afford, and which provide a fair profit to everyone except those who bought land/houses a the peak, rather than having volumes drop as the sellers hold out. But the history has been the latter.

Comment by eastcoaster
2006-04-26 06:49:02

These are stats for new homes only? I’m quite surprised at the median prices. Around here the only new homes being thrown up over the past several years are Tolls and the like that “Start in the low 600s!…”

Comment by Ben Jones
2006-04-26 06:53:37

That’s an interesting point in the numbers. It’s houses under $300k that are selling. So this inventory buildup is likely in the upper range of prices.

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 07:35:56

And there is likely a free fall in the upper end of the price range which will not show up in the data for a while, because nothing is selling. There are simply not enough millionaires out there to soak up the excess supply of McMansions caused by investors rushing to the exits.

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-04-26 07:49:06

Inventory between 400 and 800K is building .

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-26 08:27:19

Always remember, $400K-$800K is “starter home” territory up and down the Cali coast (Los Angeles, Central Coast, SF/Silicon Valley).

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Comment by outofiowa
2006-04-26 09:35:28

Just moved into a rental in the Phoenix area. We noticed the same thing. A local realtor placed a glossy flier that listed all house sales for the month of March in the surrounding neighborhoods. All sales were in the low to mid-$200K range. Nothing over $300K sold. The listings over $300K are just sitting.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-04-26 06:53:01

Im confused - Did sales go down YOY??

This data is revised, changed and massaged way tooo much

Comment by Ben Jones
2006-04-26 06:55:49

From the CD.

‘Sales of new one-family houses in March 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000.. 7.2 percent below the March 2005 estimate of 1,307,000.’

So yes, sales and prices are down YOY.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-04-26 07:06:29

Thanks. Thats what I thought. However, when you go to CBSmarketwatch - “New homes sales WAY UP” - This spin is killing me- LOL

Comment by Coloradan
2006-04-26 07:21:31

Way up MOM not YOY.

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Comment by yensoy
2006-04-26 09:59:13

Does anyone take into consideration the fact that February has 28 days and March 31 :-) ?

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 07:37:18

That is a normal seasonal pickup in the pace of sales, which should not be confused with the YOY drop, which is due to the bubble popping.

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Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 07:23:15

More specifically, YOY median and mean prices are negative for the first time since the three month period from Sept-Nov 2001. As I recall, there was an extraordinary factor which led to the decline in the previous period.

Comment by Inspired
2006-04-26 15:45:54

Today’s real estate data was typical Wall Street Jibberish!!!

Yes, New home sales were seasonally up in March versus the miserable January and February numbers. But mystically, last March 2005 comparisons were ignored by the media talking head sooths. Also they failed to mention that 1.213m seasonally adjusted as compared to the near 2.0 million the builders plan to build is 787,000 units of over building. So the industry continues construction “FULL STEAM AHEAD” at nearly the 2004-5 record pace when they over built another 700,000 homes each year.
But did anyone hear the seasonally adj. permit numbers???/ that a few months ago eveyone was latching onto as signs of good for the home building indsutry’s future?
Any way new home sales…are merely deposits, and the industry does not report uniformally, so the Govt. liers WET THEIR FINGERS and let the wind BLOW then report their seasonally adjusted data, just as they do for the monthly employment data these days!
So expect April to be better than March…but the sum total for 2006 WILL BE and IS an industry disaster!
Now a true reporter might have mentioned that the 1.2 seasonally adjusted units is substatntially below all of 2005 (excluding December).
So the headline readers had positive talking points but worse were the comments by the Fed…as they toooooo chose to ignore the comparitive details vs. recent 2005 numbers.. So “one and done” is a distant memory of wall street aka April 18th excuse for a 200 DJI point rally.

Comment by PW
2006-04-26 06:54:10

keep in mind that the sales prices on new homes probably include substantial sales concessions/allowances for financing, landscaping, decorating. if prices (net of concessions) were reported, prices would be even lower.

Comment by Ben Jones
2006-04-26 06:56:19

Excellent point.

Comment by eastcoaster
2006-04-26 06:56:21

Where are new homes under $200,000 being built? South? Midwest?

Comment by AZtumbleweeds
2006-04-26 07:02:52

I currently live in N. Fort Worth and there are plenty of 2 story, 3000 sq ft, McMansions being built for $150K in the area.

Comment by eastcoaster
2006-04-26 07:05:40

I live in the wrong area for sure. Damn family ties!! ;-)

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Comment by scdave
2006-04-26 07:24:54

I just can’t fathom this…3000 sq.ft. for 150K or $50. a sq.ft. including land, infrastucture and soft costs ???

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Comment by Craven Moorehead
2006-04-26 07:53:50

Problem is that those houses are made out of cardboard and old candy bar wrappers, and nailed together by hung-over Guatemalians who could care less about the finished product. I’d rather have a 1500 sq/ft house made by a reputable, independent contractor than a 3000 sq/ft tract crackerbox. Big, cheap houses are for Walmartians.

Comment by scdave
2006-04-26 08:07:59

I here ya Craven;…I just don’t understand how its possible given all associated costs…Hell, materials alone in my neck of the woods would cost “MORE” than 50 bucks a foot…

Comment by bearmaster
2006-04-26 08:10:18

No wonder Californians are fleeing for places like Texas, here in the North Redondo, near LAX, a house that size would have an asking price of at least $1 million. There has been much supersizing over the last several years in new construction and the square footage now is typically close to 3500, with asking prices $1.2 - $1.3 million.

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Comment by scdave
2006-04-26 08:23:44

Bearmaster;…Has been a common practice for sometime….Once you get beyond the kitchens and bathrooms its just wood, sheetrock & paint….That space cost the builder insignificant dollars compared to the price per square foot they sell it for…

Comment by skip
2006-04-26 09:19:53

There are plenty of nice 3000ft^2 houses being built in S. Arlington/Grand Prarie/Mansfield area between $150k-200k. You do have to pay extra for the granite counter tops though. :-)

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Comment by AZtumbleweeds
2006-04-26 09:33:49

I don’t know how to include a link but my oldest daughter planned to buy this Fox and Jacobs home not far from me. Almost 3000 sq feet for $143K. Here’s the url.


She decided to look a little closer to her work.

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Comment by scdave
2006-04-26 12:22:36

AZ;…That also appears to be brick veneer ??

Comment by gorobei
2006-04-26 18:11:37

What an incredibly ugly, uninviting house: the dominant front feature is the garage door, followed by an overly high buttressed front door more suited to a fort (too narrow to add planters, a small seat, etc.)

Then you enter directly into the combined living room/tiny dining room. Bit of an abrupt transition for 3000 sq ft.!

Given 4 br (so a few kids,) I’m guessing the second floor game room becomes the kids’ room, the living room winds up being the TV room (media center to you cool kids,) and the eat-in kitchen becomes the dining room. Entertaining requires large scale furniture rearrangement.

This is just a 1500 sq ft place doubled in size. I guess the target buyers never read Jane Jacobs or Christopher Alexander.

Comment by TheGuru
2006-04-26 10:59:41

I’ll take 3 in cash please. East Coast is nuts but thank God it’s not as bad as Mexifornia.

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Comment by Jim
2006-04-26 07:08:43

Homes for medium sized dogs (under 60 lbs) in Orange County CA.

Comment by Drop the bubble
2006-04-26 07:16:14

You might get a parking space in Boston.

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Comment by AmazedRenter
2006-04-26 06:57:04

It’s becoming very hard to spin the data now. Volume is down 7% YoY and prices are down 2%. Funny how there’s still talk about “strong,” and lots of comparisons to February.

I’ll never forget this freak show economics lesson in my life.

Comment by LARenter
2006-04-26 08:11:15

Todays news about strong housing is almost “Onionesque”.

NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!

Today’s March new home sales numbers indicate an increase over Feb sales numbers. This is confirming what many economist believe is a seasonal sales curve for residential housing.


Comment by marinite
2006-04-26 11:49:34

LOL, how true.

Comment by Judicious1
2006-04-26 07:04:00

David Lereah’s interpretation of this data -> “market stabilization”.

2006-04-26 07:10:14

All you need is one sale like this to raise the median price up.

2006-04-26 07:10:46


all you need is one sale like this to raise the median price up.

Comment by ric
2006-04-26 07:26:43

average would go up, median probably not.

Comment by Chicote
2006-04-26 08:20:33

median: The middle value in a distribution, above and below which lie an equal number of values.

average (mean): The value obtained by calculating the sum of a set of quantities and then dividing that sum by the number of quantities in the set.

Comment by Hoz
2006-04-26 08:38:50

I like the comment about granite: “Forget granite countertops — those are so passé. Today’s tycoon must have Jerusalem limestone.”

Comment by bluto
2006-04-26 09:43:36

You mean you don’t have Jerusalem limestone? You might want to rethink that decision. : )

Comment by marinite
2006-04-26 11:50:49

The mean (average) is far more influenced by outliers than the median is.

Comment by LinQ
2006-04-26 07:11:37

Brutal article on CNN.com today. Compared housing to a zombie in a cheap horror flick. “Don’t let the twitching fool you.”

Bubble time: New home sales soar

Comment by Ben Jones
2006-04-26 07:25:25

From the link:

‘economist Bob Brusca said last month’s drop in new home prices is a sign that new home sales aren’t nearly as strong as the jump in sales would suggest.

He noted that the report showed a drop in the median and average home prices from both February and a year earlier, which could be a sign that home builders are cutting prices to move a large supply of new homes now on the market.

‘New homes sales sprang back to life like a zombie in a cheap horror flick,” (economist) Brusca said. ‘And like that zombie, housing really is dead. Don’t let all that twitching fool you.’

‘He said that many of the new homes sold in March were probably built in a stronger real estate market. And unlike existing homes, where sellers can live until they get an acceptable price, ‘builders can’t live in these houses unless they have a lot of family,’ he said. ‘By and large they must finance them at rising interest costs.’

‘In fact, about one builder in five has reported a jump in cancellations of new home orders, according to a recent industry survey. And Wednesday’s report showed that there were 553,000 new homes for sale in March, up 25 percent from a year earlier.’

Comment by Sideshow Bob
2006-04-26 07:31:12

The text of the article is brutal…but the headline is “New Home Sales Soar” and the subhead is “March Gain of 13.8%, the biggest in 13 years..” If you’re just skimming the headlines at work, and you’re looking to justify spending a bit more of your HELOC, the headline would confirm your hopes/beliefs.

I do think the analysis in the article is pretty compelling: home builders will (have to) cut prices to move inventory, whereas homeowners will simply refuse to budge on price. (As the guy quoted in the article states: “builders can’t live in these houses unless they have a lot of family”).

I also found amusing this quote in the article on Marketwatch:

“The government cautions, however, that its housing data are subject to large sampling and other statistical errors. The margin of error is so large, in fact, that the government cannot say with confidence that sales rose at all in March”

So I guess new home sales “soared”…unless they didn’t. something.

Comment by JWM in SD
2006-04-26 08:57:42

Am I the only one noticing the dichotomy between the headlines and the comments lately in theses stories?

Comment by peterbob
2006-04-26 10:19:01

Compare the actual headline:

New home sales soar: March gain of 13.8% the biggest in 13 years, showing surprising strength in housing market, but that was partly driven by builders cutting prices.

with how I may have writen it:

New Home Prices Plummet: March fall of 6.5% and 25% increase in inventory over last year paints a consistently gloomy picture of the housing market, despite an increase from last month’s low sales levels.

Which do you like?

Comment by Get Long Vega
2006-04-26 07:12:14

Median prices are down 6.54% MoM, and average prices are down 7.09% MoM. The last time the median price was this low ($224.2m) was Jan ‘05, when it was $223.1m. The last time the average price was this low ($279.1m) was Sep ‘04, when it was $269.2m.

Generally speaking, folks who trade stocks say that prices going down on higher volume (exactly what we’re seeing in the housing market now) is a bad thing. That’s because it’s an indication that sellers who outnumber buyers want to move their inventory.

Comment by Drop the bubble
2006-04-26 07:26:00

A keyword bidding analysis shows more popularity for words and phrases relating to selling a house than buying a house. People want to sell high, but can’t justify their asking price with supply and demand anymore.

Comment by DinOR
2006-04-26 07:53:06

Get Long Vega,
Well exactly. I always dread when clients call in when their stock is down the day before a 4 day weekend and everyone has left for the Poconos or wherever. Down on volume tends to indicate there is a consensus that the issue (or house) is overvalued.

Comment by Get Long Vega
2006-04-26 08:30:31

P.S. The implications of a 7% drop in average prices MoM are STAGGERING. In essence, the “average” home bot at any time last year is now underwater. Want to refi because your ARM is going to reset? Well, were you part of the 40% who put nothing down? Yes? Sorry, no refi for you, your collateral is less than the value of your mortgage.

Prices going down is a bad, bad thing. Imagine what CNBC would be like if stocks went down 7% in a month. 7% in the grand scheme of things isn’t that much (unless you have no or very little equity). But, when you consider where we’ve come and where we can still go, 7% is a big number. Just my opinion (of course).

Comment by sellnrun
2006-04-26 07:26:43

Media outlets are switching from quoting YOY numbers to MOM numbers to cushion the blow. The numbers will only look worse as we near summer…

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 07:29:59

YOY new home sale prices are now officially falling, whether measured by the mean or the median. Used home prices are soon to follow.


Comment by leosdad
2006-04-26 07:33:42

Comparing month to month is methodically wrong in the first place. But if the ’statisticians’ really feel to do so, then don’t forget that March has 31 days, and February only 28. So, if you directly compare these two months, March is technically 10.7% longer than February, which greatly reduces the touted 13.8% ‘jump’.

Comment by eleua
2006-04-26 08:14:58

Somebody correct me if I am wrong…

YOY comparisons can be misleading. If a home is worth $500K in 3/05, and increases $15K/mo through 9/05, stays flat for 2 months, and then starts to lose $10/mo, what does YOY show?

The home is $500K in 3/05, $590K in 9/05, and $350 in 3/06.

That is an increase of $50K YOY, but the house is actually losing value, and has done so for 4 straight months. 4/06 would show another increase, and 5/06 would show the market to be flat. The first loss does not show until 6/06.

YOY is worthless, IMHO.

Comment by eleua
2006-04-26 08:20:24

To make matters worse, you know the Real Estate Industrial Complex Propaganda Ministry will simply shift the sample period out long enough to show an increase. Once 6/06 comes due, they will report an 18 month increase or a 2 year increase.

You can bet the last thing they will show is a decrease, no matter how much they have to torture the stats.

It doesn’t matter anyway. Most Amurikunz are morons.

Comment by peterbob
2006-04-26 10:33:09

YOU is fine, provided that you understand when it is helpful:

For quantities (like the number of home sold, inventory) you should either compare YOY or use seasonally adjusted data. This is because sales slow during winter months, so you naturally expect sales to increase MOM in the spring. However the Census data IS seasonally adjusted, so the increase sales month to month shows are “real” increase in activity.

For prices, I’m not so sure that you need to compare YOY. MOY should give you an idea of what is going on.

As far as YOY goes, it is nice because it gives you a longer time frame, and you may be more confident in your estimate of what is happening. For instance, if prices fall MOM, you may not be sure if this is due to sampling error or a real drop in prices. However, after 12 months of decline, you may be more confident in your estimate.

Comment by eleua
2006-04-26 10:52:14

I agree with a larger sample size gives better results. My only point is that YOY can initially mask decling data.

Most would believe the heights in RE were seen last summer, and prices have been flat to declining ever since. Yet, the Real Estate Industrial Complex Propaganda Ministry would have you believe it is still increasing, due to a problem with the YOY sampling that I noted.

True, there is no “ticker” telling you what the price of RE is. YOY may be the best indicator, but it can hide a decline if you pick your sample correctly.


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Comment by LaLawyer
2006-04-26 09:21:25

Comparing month to month is methodically wrong in the first place. But if the ’statisticians’ really feel to do so, then don’t forget that March has 31 days, and February only 28. So, if you directly compare these two months, March is technically 10.7% longer than February, which greatly reduces the touted 13.8% ‘jump’.

An excellent point. Something so obvious, but never commented upon. Actually, LMAO funny too . . .

Comment by LaLawyer
2006-04-26 09:22:28

Comment by LaLawyer
2006-04-26 09:23:13

turn off bold?

Comment by Betamax
2006-04-26 09:26:08

Comment by bluto
2006-04-26 09:51:28

The 13.8% increase includes the extra days in March as it’s based on the seasonally adjusted annualized home sales rate. In reality there were ~31% more homes sold in March than in Feb (119k vs 91k). Those are equivalent to full year sales figures of 1,213k homes on the March rate and 1,066k on the February rate.

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Comment by peterbob
2006-04-26 11:07:17

attempting to turn off bold

Comment by AZ_BubblePopper
2006-04-26 09:46:07

Of course! March is the NAR’s wet dream month for MoM comparisons, regardless how meaningless statistically. Just focus on the raw numbers when it’s convenient to do so, and pay no attention to the man behind the curtains…

Comment by re_2_au
2006-04-26 09:55:00

“seasonally adjusted annual rate” doesn’t this factor these kinds of things (i.e. 28 vs 31 days) in??

Comment by AZ_BubblePopper
2006-04-26 10:11:13

Yes, but not raw MoM numbers.

Comment by re_2_au
2006-04-26 11:32:31

I don’t get it, the MoM is using the seasonally adjusted numbers. I’m as bearish on RE as y’all but not sure what the debate is about here… seems the report accounts for # of days in month, seasonlity etc…?? No?
(prolly too late to get a reply here)

Sales of new one-family houses in March 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000…This is 13.8 percent (±14.9%)* above the revised February rate of 1,066,000

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Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 07:48:18

The stock market has celebrated the grim news of falling new home sales prices and volume and an ongoing Treasury bond market selloff by pushing up the value of Toll Brothers stock price by 3.8%. Somebody is missing something in the changing fundamental picture…


Comment by cabinbound
2006-04-26 08:39:22

Just a short squeeze. Pretty obvious and getting rather tiresome quite frankly.

Comment by feepness
2006-04-26 09:52:19

Not when you’ve covered on the dips. Learn/love the cycle!

Comment by cabinbound
2006-04-26 09:57:33

I am covering on the dips! Well about half of them.

I want to just put on my short and be done with it.

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Comment by OCDEVIL
2006-04-26 07:48:18

Anyone else look at the data and notice that the preliminary numbers always seem to be revised upward in the later reporting periods.

Comment by SunsetBeachGuy
2006-04-26 12:18:07

OC Devil is a stealth troll.

OC Devil if you are interested post some facts with links and then we will research whether your assertion is true.

Comment by feepness
2006-04-26 07:48:24

And the homebuilders SKYROCKET on this wonderful news.

I sold off all my Puts on Tuesday. Missed a bit more I could have made yesterday but I KNEW this was coming. Jesus. They go up like clockwork when any news comes out that doesn’t show the Visigoths running through their offices killing everyone and then only slowly trickle down afterwards.

Comment by Betamax
2006-04-26 14:02:54

The ‘get shorty’ game is over. They’re taking a hit in after-hours trading.


Comment by catsipt1
2006-04-26 08:20:06

For months, OC Register been showing new house prices down like 13% yoy, and sales volume up—while existing ones sit on market. Obviously new builders see what’s up and dropping prices accordingly…

Comment by salinasron
2006-04-26 08:23:35

I love it. So March housing is up (down) and now the Fed will have to raise rates as that adds to the other positive data. Homebuilders are up so they can continue to sell off insider stock and position themselves for the time that they can no longer spin the data. World wide liquidity is also way up and that means that all interest rates will have to go higher, much higher.It’s a great time to get real life lessons in economics.

Comment by Pamela
2006-04-26 08:24:52

Ya know, I’m not a stupid person (not up for discussion). I’m as good a salesperson as the next. But I never resorted to spinning information like this, to try and mislead people. I’m glad I’ve got this blog to sort this stuff out for me. The freak parade is headed towards Main Street USA.

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 08:31:38

“What housing bubble?
Surprising March new-home sales, Meritage results spark builder rally
By John Spence, MarketWatch
Last Update: 11:38 AM ET Apr 26, 2006″


Comment by John Swapceinski
2006-04-26 08:32:22

Check out this Yahoo article titled “New Home Sales Rebound Strongly in March”:

Not a single mention of the YOY sales volume decline. Amazing.

Comment by eastcoaster
2006-04-26 09:04:46

I refer people to this and other similar blogs/websites. They all dismiss it (and me) as my “crazy propaganda”. Well what is the media doing by picking and choosing only warm/fuzzy statistics to report? Smells like propaganda to me!

Comment by Coloradan
2006-04-26 09:15:06

But the key word used here is ” rebound”. The author is admiting bad news exists by implying the new data shows an improvement over past.
Can’t you here the sheeple collectively sighing, “whew”.
One more month in happyland for them. One more month. Put 12 together and you got another year….

Comment by Mo Money
2006-04-26 08:40:38

CNBC i.e. Bubblevision was drooling all over these numbers this morning saying it indicated a strong economy and GOSH that might lead to higher interest rates. I for one hope the FED misinterperts this data and keeps on raising rates.

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 08:56:32

Bernanke is smart enough to not misinterpret this data, but may nonetheless deliberately pretend to do so, in order to provide political cover for his steadfast effort to make sure the stake is driven squarely through the heart of the bubble.

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 09:19:29

Short-term twitching aside, it looks like a hard landing is in store for both the housing sector and the broad stock market.

On marketwatch.com:

“Fed fund futures see greater chance that rates will rise
By Tomi Kilgore
Last Update: 9:13 AM ET Apr 26, 2006

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The fed funds futures market pricing in a slightly higher chance of rate hike following the Federal Reserve’s next two policy meetings, after stronger-than-expected March durable goods orders data sent benchmark bond yields to multi-year highs. Fed fund futures are pricing in an 82% chance of a quarter percentage point rake hike after the Fed’s meeting in May, unchanged from late Tuesday, but futures are now pricing in a 80% chance that fed funds will be at 5.25% after the May and June meetings, vs. a 76% chance on Tuesday.”


Comment by Betamax
2006-04-26 09:29:28

CNN also…offering stat as proof that the bubble hasn’t popped…

Comment by bubble-x
2006-04-26 08:41:41

You can check out what these numbers look like in todays post at:
PS- There isnt much point in getting wrapped up in monthly numbers.

Comment by Getstucco
2006-04-26 08:53:06

As to your PS, thanks for restating the common platitude (MOM is just a statistical blip, etc.), but there is something you missed, which is that March 2006 is the first time since Sept-Nov 2001 when both the median and mean new home sale prices fell YOY, and also that after filtering out statistical noise, both the median and mean YOY new home sales prices have been steadily trending down since January 2004. The fact that this is the first YOY drop in both measures of “average” since fall 2001 is merely the tip of a large statistical iceberg.

Comment by salinasron
2006-04-26 08:58:07

OT but interesting: from money.cnn

“”Five, 10 years ago every new home costing $125,000 and up had a whirlpool tub in the master bath,” says Marshall Williams, manager for corporate accounts worldwide for Kohler, the premier fixture manufacturers.

For the most part, though, whirlpools didn’t make bathing enjoyable. “Most were not ergonomically designed; they were uncomfortable and noisy,” says Williams.

Today, the people’s choice is a soaking tub, a deep, comfy, quiet place to relax and while away your troubles.

There is a step up from the soaking tub, however, that should prove popular: the infinity tub. Kohler recently introduced one it calls “Sök.” It has an infinity overflow that lets the water drain slowly over the tub edge into a catch basin, where it is reheated and effervesced (bubble massage) and recirculated into the tub. There’s also remote-controlled “chromatherapy,” which alters the color of built-in LED lights in the tub to fit — or set — your mood.”

Comment by Coloradan
2006-04-26 09:18:44

Nice. I want one.

Comment by the_lingus
2006-04-26 09:44:46

Sounds like bathing in a bath of bubbling piss.

Comment by santacruzsux
2006-04-26 11:39:56

And a freaking maintenance albatross as well.

Comment by passthebubbly
2006-04-26 09:45:41

“Infinity overflow”???

Sounds like what RE buyers in the last year or two have been counting on to happen with prices.

Comment by Kim
2006-04-26 11:34:49

“Five, 10 years ago every new home costing $125,000 and up had a whirlpool tub in the master bath,”

We bought a house with a whirlpool tub. My 5 year old son was taking a bath and we turned on the whirlpool and he started crying, the noise frightened him so. I tried it once for about 5 seconds, and after that I think no one turned it on again. It it amazing to me that you see it listed as a selling point that a home has a whirlpool tub.

Comment by shel
2006-04-26 09:19:57

Not surprising that any Yahoo story didn’t even include the Y-O-Y decline in numbers…the spin is getting really ridiculous…look at the title for the link on their topstories list:
“Weather helps US homes sales soar in March”!
was there an existing homes sales report today too?
can’t they fit the word ‘new’ in at least, with that crap take on the actual report?
shouldn’t it at least say add “…but prices decline”? i hope my hubby doesn’t see that or I’m gonna get it tonight. He’s got a PhD in a field that requires knowledge of stats and everything, but he don’t have no patience when it comes to me sharing with him the bigger picture on this emotional topic…Him: hey, so how come you’re not letting me buy something, anything, overpriced or not, we gotta just go for a smaller house or a condo now that interest rates are higher, but we’ll never get into this market! sales are soaring!
He’ll ignore how the local figures look, how bad things are locally, barely hear how they’re talking about new home sales only…he’ll see the sun shining on the forsale signs two to every block and feel like he’s really really missing something! What a great way to try and get those fencesitters who had been maybe starting to believe that RE was tanking. Bloody wanker spinmeisters…it’ll be interesting to see how the local RE cabals use and abuse these numbers…

Comment by shel
2006-04-26 09:31:36

but at least the yahoo article itself includes the price decline, and a small bit about how existing home sales increased only a little and that the inventory of existing homes hit an all-time high:

“In contrast to the big surge in new home sales in March, sales of previously owned homes edged up a much smaller 0.3 percent, according to a report Tuesday from the National Association of Realtors. The number of existing homes remaining for sale at the end of March hit an all-time high, which analysts believe will be a factor further depressing prices in coming months….”

still, as mentioned before, so many people don’t even check the link, just glance at the headline while surfing for whatever or doing email…

Comment by cabinbound
2006-04-26 10:07:14

Sorry for repeating this but I just don’t see my comments coming through today. We actually had YOY declines in December 2005 not 2003.

2006-04-26 14:34:47

That’s what I thought, too. I could swear I read somewhere in January that NAR was going to stop reporting monthly numbers, they were going to switch to quarterly numbers, and the first set for 2006 was going to be in May.

Comment by FED UP
2006-04-26 10:24:38


Comment by FED Up
2006-04-26 10:28:01

On the AOL welcome page the business headline is “New Home Sales Rise at Fastest Pace in 13 years.”

Comment by Nikki
2006-04-26 11:21:00

Leave it to Inman News to do the right thing…


Comment by ChillintheOC
2006-04-26 14:19:14

Getstucco said…..YOY new home sale prices are now officially falling, whether measured by the mean or the median. Used home prices are soon to follow.
Regarding sales of Existing Homes, I think I saw a posting on our blog that suggested that NAR’s medium price data is based on a “SAMPLING” of data versus the complete MLS listing in a given area. Is this true? Doe anyone have insight into this practice?

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