Home Sales & Prices link fest

Home sales jumped 9.6% in July 2009. We have a lot of experts out there looking at the latest housing data, many with different conclusions on what it means than the MSM.

My own feeling is home prices must come down to where the U.S. median income can afford a 30 year fixed mortgage and payments. Obviously that's too crude of an answer, to simply make owning a home affordable again, with investment, equity, wealth, jobs all wrapped up in the real estate market. So, with that, let's read some insightful writings.

Calculated Risk is the gold standard on housing market analysis.

In New Home Sales Increase in July:

Months-of-supply and inventory have both peaked for this cycle, and there is a good chance that sales of new homes has also bottomed for this cycle. However any further recovery in sales will likely be modest because of the huge overhang of existing homes for sale.

From Distressing Gap Ratio of Existing to New Home Sales:

According to the Q2 Campbell national survey of real estate agents, over 63% of sales in Q2 were distressed

In the last above link, CR has an awesome original graph of a newly minted analysis term, distressing gap.

A Comment on Housing Prices, in reference to the Case-Shiller home price increases.

But I think many areas, especially the mid-to-high priced bubble areas, there will be further price declines. I'm not as certain as I was in 2005, but I think these price declines will drag down the Case-Shiller indexes - and I don't think the price bottom is in.

If you're looking for raw data, here is the S&P Case-Shiller excel tables.

Finally, CR's comment on better than expected home prices with respect to the TARP stress tests.

Econbrowser has an overview of Case-Shiller, with comments from various viewpoints on the news (with graphs).

EconomPic has an interest graph and mentions that all so important and all so ignored fact of U.S. population increase when comparing prices.

Finally, Barry Ritholtz over at The Big Picture is clearly not a believer in the magical housing bottoming, thus saving the nation. This link goes through quite the analysis on home sales (yr-to-yr):

This confirms my prior view that there are a lot of federal forces focused mightily to merely maintain housing in a gentle downdraft. But for this extraordinary government intervention, Housing would actually be much much worse. Foreclosures would be driving prices much lower — a good thing IMO, as it would hasten the cleansing of the boom’s excesses.

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