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Home Sales Fall to 9-Year Low

Written By Luke Burgess

Posted February 26, 2008

us housing market yuck

Sales of existing homes fell for the sixth straight month in January, dropping to the slowest sales pace on record. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 0.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units. That was the slowest sales pace, going back to 1999, and was seen as evidence that the steepest slump in housing in a quarter-century has yet to hit bottom.

Median home prices were also down. The median price of a home sold in January slid to $201,100, a drop of 4.6% from a year ago.

But most alarming was the fact that the inventory of unsold homes jumped to a 10.3 months’ supply, meaning it would take that long to sell the 4.19 million homes on the market at the January sales pace. That was up from 9.7 months in December and just below a two-decade high of 10.5 months hit in October. During the peak of the housing boom in 2005, the supply of homes relative to sales stood at 4.5 months.

What this all boils down to is lower housing prices going forward. This real estate crisis is only beginning. Your best bet is to right now is just to sit tight and weather the storm.

– luke