The National Association of Realtors released its Existing Home Sales report for June 2006 yesterday. Not surprisingly, the number of sales nationally posted an 8.9% drop over June of the previous year, and down 1.3% from the previous month. In the northeast region, sales were off 9.8% from the previous year and 3.5% from the previous month (on a seasonally adjusted basis).
Nationally, the year over year median price increase was in the positive column, but just barely — at 0.9%. The northeast posted the best regional price performance, though, with a 7.2% year over year jump in the median. My data for Sullivan County (not part of the NAR report) indicates that we are actually outperforming the region, with a 13% increase in the median year over year (although my data is a 3 month running average due to sample size rather than a single month snapshot.)
The data continues to validate the anticipated slowdown in the housing market. The good news is that dropoff the number of sales in most reports seems to continue at about 10%, a year-over-year level that’s been holding for the past few months. We’re also seeing a flattening in prices, but the only region reporting a significant drop off in prices is the south, which is greatly impacted by the condo glut in Florida.
Overall, I think the data is quite encouraging. The flattening in prices indicates that sellers are finally getting the message that the market isn’t galloping ahead and may be moderating their price expectations. The number of sales, while lower than last year, is continuing at a historically strong rate.
I think that the next few months are going to be an interesting bellweather to watch. Various factors, like mortgage rates and amount of inventory, have stabilized, albeit at higher levels than last year and now the market is realigning.