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US house prices: the trend is down [ClearOnMoney]
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US house prices: the trend is down

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Commentary

US house prices: the trend is down

29 Nov 2011 by Jim Fickett

Last week the National Association of Realtors reported existing home inventory for October. From Bloomberg:

The number of previously owned homes on the market dropped to 3.33 million last month, the fewest since January 2010, the [NAR] said today.

At the current sales pace, it would take 8 months to sell those houses, down from 8.3 months at the end of September.

Although inventory has been coming down somewhat, it is still high by historical standards:

Today S&P released the Case-Shiller house price index through September. As one would guess from the inventory data, house prices continue to fall. In fact, for almost two years now, prices have fallen in most months (this is the 20-city, seasonally adjusted index).

Price psychology is, of course, unpredictable. But as long as foreclosures remain high, there will be significant downward pressure, and that will be for a long time.

Just for comic relief, here is the ever-sunny NAR's assessment of the situation:

“Maybe we are very close” to seeing home prices stabilize, Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist, said in a news conference today as the figures were released.

Right. Just don't forget that in 2005 they were saying it was a great time to buy a house.