Saturday, March 24, 2007

Take My House, Please!

"My wife will buy anything marked down. Last year she bought an escalator." Henny Youngman

Yesterday the National Association of REALTORS ® released its data for existing home sales for February. [Credibility warning: The NAR has actually gone to the trouble of REGISTERING the word "REALTOR ®" - with all capitals if you please. How serious can such people be?]

Anyway, here's what the data showed:

February 2006
402.000 homes sold, 2.985.000 homes for sale.

February 2007
387.000 homes sold (-3.73%), 3.748.000 homes for sale (+25.6%).

For further comparison:

2.240.000 homes were for sale at year-end 2004
2.846.000 homes were for sale at year-end 2005

That's quite a spicy meatball of inventory, no? Particularly for this early in the year - look at the full data set for a better picture. All kinds of possible reasons: people rushing to sell early to get out of looming mortgage trouble, builders listing their unsold new homes with REALTORS® (this is getting annoying), owners listing early to beat the "spring rush" - who really knows...

Hmmm...sales down, inventory up. Merchandising 101: time for the "SALE !!" sign to go out.

Maybe Henny Youngman's wife will show up.

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