If you caught the national news last evening, you probably heard the latest bleak report on Existing Home Sales from the National Association of Realtors. Nationally, May’s seasonally adjusted sales were down 10.3% from May, 2006, with a slight 0.3% dip from April. But housing performance varies tremendously by region, with the south and west chalking up double digit drops while the northeast region showed just a 3.5% decline in year over year sales. In the northeast, May’s sales actually increased 5.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from April. (On a seasonally adjusted basis, the peak in the northeast was reached in Feb. 2007, and sales are off in this region by about 10% from that peak.)
On the price front, May’s median sales price fell 2.1% from May 2006, but in the northeast, prices actually rose 0.5% in May over the same month a year earlier, and the average sales price rose 2.3% year over year.
The real estate picture right now is multi-layered and complex. Performance varies tremendously by region, and within regions, by markets and even submarkets. While few places in the country are galloping merrily ahead like a few years ago, there certainly markets that are doing well, and others that aren’t.