The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

In today’s New York Times, reporter David Streitfeld discovers that a number of others, including me, have been saying for months: Home prices and sales could continue to decline.  The way the article is written would lead–and doubtless will lead–readers to believe that the sky is falling.

Yes, it’s undeniable that many variables could change the anemically recovering housing market.  Among them are consumer confidence, unemployment rate, inflation, mortgage rates and a rise in the rate of foreclosures. Continue reading

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Smile about June sales of new homes, then frown

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 11 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Coming on the heels of an upwardly revised number for May, the gain marks a third consecutive month of improved sales activity.  Whether it’s a great leap forward remains to be seen.

In fact, the number of sales on a seasonally adjusted basis–36,000–represented the weakest June sales since 1982.

And there are plenty of factors that suggest the cheery news needs to be taken with at least half a grain of salt.  Continue reading