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Woe Is Housing: House And Home

House or home -- the latest on the real estate market this week isn't inspiring for homeowners, homebuilders or investors.

Housing Market Outlook

Existing home sales fell slightly in July but the inventory of unsold properties soared to the highest level in a decade, as troubles in the subprime mortgage market continued to wreak havoc on the housing sector.

Home sales slid 0.2% on a mopnth-to-month basis in July to a seasonally adjusted 5.75 million unit annual rate, but were down 9.0% from a year ago, according to a National Association of Realtors report Monday.

The supply of unsold homes rose to 9.6 months' worth, the highest level on record since 1999, when the association began tracking all types of properties, such as condominiums, together with single-family homes.

The NAR said the median home price fell 0.6% from a year ago to $228,900.

Air Out Of The Bubble

The Case-Shiller survey of home prices released Tuesday showed a record decline for the second quarter. Prices were down 0.9 from the previous quarter and 3.2% from the year-ago period. On a monthly basis, in the June period, 17 of 20 metropolitan areas showed price declines in annual growths rates compared to May.

Beazer Auction

Given the number of properties entering the foreclosure process, it is no wonder prices are falling. Jane Wells reports on a recent auction in southern California, what some call "ground zero" of the subprime mortgage mess. More than 100 foreclosed properties were on sale with some 1000 people --developers included -- looking to bid.

One home from a nearby Beazer Homes development was listed at $209,000 -- half its orginal price. It wound up selling for $303,000, still a bargain.

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