Bears looking calm, cool and collected.
Weekly unemployment insurance claims are trending higher, consumer confidence is trending lower and the expiration of the home buyer tax credit: All were contributing factors to last month’s record 27.2% plunge in sales of existing homes to the slowest pace, 3.83 million units, since 1999, according to numbers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). (Read a second opinion — Mark Zandi: Housing in Double Dip)
July’s month-on-month 1.43 million dive in home resales reflected waning momentum in the overall economy as weakness was recorded in all major market areas across the country. Sales in the Midwest fell 35%, followed by a 29½% drop in the Northeast, 25% down in the West and 22.5% in the South.
Total housing inventory at the end of July increased 2.5 percent to 3.98 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 12½ month supply at the current sales pace and 6½ months above the industry understood supply/demand equilibrium of 6.0 months of supply. Inventories were up 40% from June.