Okay, New Yorkers, let’s all take a deep breath

Flickr photo by palisade 14

With the news this week of plunging home sales across the country, doom and gloom has enveloped almost everyone I know.  Stock prices dropped impressively, and the New York Times led the paper yesterday to report on mounting anxiety related to the impact of the latest housing statistics.

To be sure, I recently took a dim view (which I retain) about the chances of a housing recovery in the Big Apple, but Josh Barbanel, whom I know and much respect, injected welcome perspective in an article he wrote yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.  The headline said it all: Continue reading

Data firm is alarmed by its latest statistics

January-to-June change in the 25-MSA RPX transaction count for each of the last 10 years, says RadarLogic. To illustrate the impact of the homebuyer tax credit on housing demand, the actual change in transactions in 2010 is shown alongside the change assuming June transactions were reduced by 15%. This reduction reflects an estimate of sales that would not have occurred in June without the tax credit.

It’s taken me too long to get to this report from Radar Logic, which compiles and analyzes real estate data, but the information remains pertinent.

Michael Feder

Noting distortions from the homebuyer tax credit,  President and CEO Michael Feder looked at what seasonal activity in the U.S. would have been without this “pull through”  and assumed that 15 percent of the activity (transaction counts) came from this accelerated demand.  Says he: Continue reading

Fed finds sluggish housing markets in U.S.

The Federal Reserve Board’s latest “Beige Book” says nearly all of the institution’s districts found that their housing markets were pretty much weakening, or expected to weaken, after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

Here’s what the book, which is based largely on anecdotal information from regional experts, said in toto about housing:

Nearly all Districts reported sluggish housing markets in the months since the homebuyer tax credit expired on April 30.

While some Districts, such as Boston and St. Louis, reported an increase in May and June home sales on a year-over-year basis, some contacts noted that these sales may reflect closings of homes under contract by the April tax credit deadline.

The Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Kansas City Districts reported that home sales are expected to weaken going forward.

Residential construction remained limited in several Districts. In the Atlanta District, residential construction activity softened from already weak levels. Homebuilders in the Cleveland District do not expect a turnaround in new home construction any time this year. Builders in the Chicago District are not introducing new inventory without a signed contract on a home. Housing starts were expected to decline for the second half of the year in the Dallas District and to increase slightly over the next three months in the Kansas City District.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
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