Existing-home sales fall 2.6% in March, adding to downward housing trend

posted at 1:36 pm on April 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, the Census Bureau showed new-housing starts plummeting 5.8% last month from February, which stunned analysts expecting a slight uptick in the series.  Today’s report from the National Association of Realtors shows that it’s not just the new-home market that tanked in March, a result which once again surprised analysts (via Instapundit):

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes in March unexpectedly fell for the third time in the last four months, showing an uneven recovery in the housing market.

Purchases dropped 2.6 percent to a 4.48 million annual rate from 4.6 million in February, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for an increase to 4.61 million. In January, sales at a 4.63 million rate were the strongest since May 2010.

Ah, yes — unexpectedly.  Why such a surprise?  Apparently, analysts didn’t figure in the decline in job creation last month:

Residential real estate remains the economy’s soft spot, challenged by stricter lending standards, lower home values and the threat of more foreclosures. An improved labor market and mortgage rates near historic lows have yet to stoke bigger gains in demand.

The description of an “improved labor market” applied more in February than it did in March.  Last month, the US only added 120,000 jobs, barely enough to keep up with population growth.  Even before that, the previous three months added around 650,000 jobs in the aggregate, which means actual growth above population increase of about 300,000 jobs — which wouldn’t greatly increase demand in the housing market, but shouldn’t result in a decrease in demand.  First-time buyers still only account for a third of these purchases, when the normal level is around 40%, according to Bloomberg News.  That’s an indication of a lack of confidence among younger adults.

Now that the churn rate on jobs has increased, as evidenced in the rise in weekly initial jobless claims, confidence and demand will likely decline a bit.  The soon-to-arrive flood of foreclosures and short sales might stoke demand for bargain hunters who have waited patiently for the settlement to take effect.    That may give a false impression of demand, though, as one analyst warns:

Investors accounted for 21 percent of purchases last month, down from 23 percent in February, today’s data showed. Such figures suggest the recovery in housing isn’t broad-based, said Jay McCanless, a housing analyst with Guggenheim Securities LLC in Nashville, Tennessee.

“We’ve seen investors and cash sales continue to be anywhere from 20 percent to 33 percent of monthly sales,” McCanless said. “That may be giving the appearance that there’s more activity, more demand for housing than may actually be the case.”

Cash buyers have been a big factor in the local Twin Cities foreclosure/short sale market for the past year already.  That will also likely spike upward when the pent-up foreclosures come to market, but the inventory will allow others to play in the same market, too.  We may not get a clear idea of how the resale market looks for several months after the release, so new-home sales and startups might give us a better indicator to watch.


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Where do these analysts live? Shanghai? Addis Ababa? How can they live in the US and be surprised by these numbers?

I am happy to report, however, that the house next door to me, on which the owner — who used it as a rental property — had ceased paying the mortgage in 2008, and which was foreclosed in 2010, finally SOLD in March. I have neighbors again. With dogs and kids! And cars with Ron Paul stickers. Ha!

J.E. Dyer on April 19, 2012 at 2:33 PM

That’s impossible. Nobody is buying houses because of Obama. You must be a liberal troll.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

EH ?
Sounds like money laudering to me.
If you can affort a rent that is 3X mortgage you buy it.

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM

You would still have to qualify for a mortgage.

Repayment capability is just one factor; credit, employment history, liquid assets, etc, are equally important.

Norwegian on April 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I wish I was in the position to take advantage of today’s home prices and mortgage rates, stupid unemployment.

Cindy Munford on April 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Jeebus Angry Ed…you can’t be this stupid

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I wish I was in the position to take advantage of today’s home prices and mortgage rates, stupid unemployment.

Cindy Munford on April 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Apparently this phenomena is something some folks haven’t experienced before. Does that date me?

Bmore on April 19, 2012 at 2:38 PM

You would still have to qualify for a mortgage.

Repayment capability is just one factor; credit, employment history, liquid assets, etc, are equally important.

Norwegian on April 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

BINGO!

This is why residential rentals are a gold mine right now. People have money, they just can’t get a mortgage but they can easily pay higher rents. At the same time houses are dirt cheap and property taxes are falling as well.

It’s the sweet spot for cash buyers and/or people (the few remaining) with good credit that can get a 3% 15 year fixed mortgage.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Pre-Bush millionaire tax cuts:

4% unemployment, booming stock market, balanced budget. We must NEVER go back to those hellish days.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM

“The era of big government is over” – Bill Clinton, 1996

You guys always forget that part of the 1990′s too.

Chuck Schick on April 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

what are his property taxes? Upkeep costs? Special assessments? Liability insurance? etc, etc, etc

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM

His insurance and property taxes are proably less than $2,000/year, combined.

Regardless, his monthly cash flow from renting far exceeds PITI payments and upkeep.

Norwegian on April 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Jeebus Angry Ed…you can’t be this stupid

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I take it you have limited experience talking one-on-one with an uber-liberal.

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

“The era of big government is over” – Bill Clinton, 1996

You guys always forget that part of the 1990′s too.

Chuck Schick on April 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I don’t. The 90s were a great time. Then you know who came along in 2000 and effed it up for a couple of generations.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Hey! Hey! Wait just a gosh-darned second there! I already insulted NoDonkey with the flover, pick up truck driving, hick stuff. He’s mine! Go find yer own rubes to insult!

Trafalgar on April 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

How does one go from Tea Party to Big Government? just wondering Ed

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM

His insurance and property taxes are proably less than $2,000/year, combined

Wow, that IS impressive. Most of the country is 6-10K

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I don’t. The 90s were a great time. Then you know who came along in 2000 and effed it up for a couple of generations.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

How so?

Chuck Schick on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Oh My God! My panties are like…so in a wad! – Angry Ed when Romney kicked azz

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM

How does one go from Tea Party to Big Government? just wondering Ed

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM

How am I big govt by saying real estate is a good investment? Dude you’re beyond paranoid. It’s cool, there aren’t communists hiding under the bed. I promise.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Wow, that IS impressive. Most of the country is 6-10K

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Mill levies in states west of the Mississippi are usually subject to voter approval and assessment values are closely following market evaluations.

On a home worth $60,000 in Phoenix, your taxes & insurance will be minimal.

Norwegian on April 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

His insurance and property taxes are proably less than $2,000/year, combined

Wow, that IS impressive. Most of the country is 6-10K

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Wrong. A few isolated areas have taxes that high. Generally tax is 1-2% of the value of a house. Median home price is about $175K. Do the math.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM

In AZ we sold 8500 existing homes last month but there are only 13600 total homes listed for sale. That’s a 45 day supply.

In a healthy market the supply should be 4-6 months, or rougly $42,000 homes on the market.

This shortage of homes for sale is curtailing the rebound in our market and is leading to multiple offers on every listing, and well above ‘list’ price at that.

The speculator, wads of cash in hand, have descended on Phoenix in droves and are scoffing up anything that isn’t falling down.

And yet The One says the banks need to convert their REO portfolios into rentals. Nice thinking champ.

DrW on April 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

You would still have to qualify for a mortgage.

Repayment capability is just one factor; credit, employment history, liquid assets, etc, are equally important.

Norwegian on April 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

No kidding. Thanks for that info.
While The Angry One will revel (and profit ) in others misfortune, the fact is that in Obama’s economy the ability to meet such conditions has been greatly diminished.

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

While The Angry One will revel (and profit ) in others misfortune, the fact is that in Obama’s economy the ability to meet such conditions has been greatly diminished.

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Oh please. The fact that most Americans live well beyond their means is why they can’t qualify for a mortgage.

And yes I will revel and profit from this. It’s capitalism. I thought you were for it.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

It’s the sweet spot for cash buyers and/or people (the few remaining) with good credit that can get a 3% 15 year fixed mortgage.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM

You are mistaken about the number of qualfied buyers in the market. There are plenty, and banks are lending contrary to what the media tells you. The banks aren’t offering ‘fog a mirror’ loans anymore but FHA, VA and even conventional finanicing are not all that tough to qualify for.

DrW on April 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Mill levies in states west of the Mississippi are usually subject to voter approval and assessment values are closely following market evaluations.

On a home worth $60,000 in Phoenix, your taxes & insurance will be minimal.

Norwegian on April 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Guess the deal still isn’t sweet enough

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-19/u-s-previously-owned-home-sales-unexpectedly-fell-in-march.html

Check out that bit about the west.

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 3:00 PM

How am I big govt by saying real estate is a good investment? Dude you’re beyond paranoid. It’s cool, there aren’t communists hiding under the bed. I promise.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

huh? oh! I get it…you’re trying to be funny

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Bmore on April 19, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I don’t know, was 2010 that long ago? I guess I shouldn’t complain, I’m still in better shape than many.

Cindy Munford on April 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

You are mistaken about the number of qualfied buyers in the market. There are plenty, and banks are lending contrary to what the media tells you. The banks aren’t offering ‘fog a mirror’ loans anymore but FHA, VA and even conventional finanicing are not all that tough to qualify for.

DrW on April 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM

The fact rents are increasing across the board says otherwise. I don’t care what the media tells me. I care what the numbers say….demand for rental units is increasing at a faster rate than demand for owner occupied units. Not all of that is a reflection of tighter credit, but a lot of it is.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Ed, you don’t care what anyone tells you…cause you’re stupid

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

In AZ we sold 8500 existing homes last month but there are only 13600 total homes listed for sale. That’s a 45 day supply.

In a healthy market the supply should be 4-6 months, or rougly $42,000 homes on the market.

This shortage of homes for sale is curtailing the rebound in our market and is leading to multiple offers on every listing, and well above ‘list’ price at that.

The speculator, wads of cash in hand, have descended on Phoenix in droves and are scoffing up anything that isn’t falling down.

And yet The One says the banks need to convert their REO portfolios into rentals. Nice thinking champ.

DrW on April 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

OK. I’ll buy that.

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Ed! why don’t you go all dog torturer on us? Is it cause Obama eats dogs? couldn’t be

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Check out that bit about the west.

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2012 at 3:00 PM

“West” in this instance includes the Peoples’s Republic of California, as well as Oregon & WA.

Way, way different market than the Intermountain-west but due to their much larger population tend to skew the statistics.

AZ & NV proabably has the highest price appreciation nationwide currently, with states like UT and CO being not far behind.

Norwegian on April 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Oh please. The fact that most Americans live well beyond their means is why they can’t qualify for a mortgage.

And yes I will revel and profit from this. It’s capitalism. I thought you were for it.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

No argument from me on people living beyond means except that govt mandating easier mortgage made it more possible. Particularly at the lower income levels.
And yeah, I am a capitalistic type. But Obama is not.

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

No argument from me on people living beyond means except that govt mandating easier mortgage made it more possible. Particularly at the lower income levels.
And yeah, I am a capitalistic type. But Obama is not.

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Were you under a rock between 2003 and 2007? People were bragging about how much their house had increased in value and all the great things they could buy with the new found refi equity. I had a neighbor who within 3 years bought 2 BMWs with cash, all through refinancing of her house. I suppose the govt made her do that.

The left blames banks. The right blames Obama. It’s idiotic on both sides. The real culprit is the tens of millions of people who used their house like an ATM to live a lifestyle they could not afford.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

The left blames banks. The right blames Obama. It’s idiotic on both sides. The real culprit is the tens of millions of people who used their house like an ATM to live a lifestyle they could not afford.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

And I would add the state indemnity laws that allow homeowners to walk away from their primary mortgages with nothing more than a credit hit. That’s a killer here in CA.

Chuck Schick on April 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Jeebus Angry Ed…you can’t be this stupid

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

…?

KOOLAID2 on April 19, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Were you under a rock between 2003 and 2007? People were bragging about how much their house had increased in value and all the great things they could buy with the new found refi equity. I had a neighbor who within 3 years bought 2 BMWs with cash, all through refinancing of her house. I suppose the govt made her do that.

The left blames banks. The right blames Obama. It’s idiotic on both sides. The real culprit is the tens of millions of people who used their house like an ATM to live a lifestyle they could not afford.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

As I said earlier, no argument from me on people living beyond means. No sympathy for those that used house to buy a beemer or two. Would never leverage a house for a car. Remember, I see cars as a liability.
Those that bought a first home they could never afford, as a result of govt intervention, have my sympathy.
I went through hell on my first mortgage app in 1994. In 2002, was offered 6X what I requested. In 2 hours. Crazy !
Whetever happened between those two dates was not good.

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

What about the houses that have been on the market so long that the seller has given up on finding a buyer? If you take those out of the equation, sales are up.

michaelthomas on April 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

…..?

KOOLAID2 on April 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

This is why I started investing in r/e. Rents are skyrocketing. I rented all 3 of mine in less than a week and had multiple tenants write applications.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 1:53 PM

In what city?

MichaelGabriel on April 19, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM
…..?

KOOLAID2 on April 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I know. I know.
But he is neither off-base or offensive on the point of living beyond means. I happen to agree with him to a certain extent.
He could use some Charm schooling, though.

Jabberwock on April 19, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Real estate sales are always local. What happens in one area, is not the same in another area. The numbers provided by the National Association of Realtors are nationwide, and it’s important to understand it’s not a representation of local markets. Real estate sales in the Denver metro area are going gangbusters. There’s no doubt about it. Anything that’s not nailed down is getting sold – and in lots of cases, within a few days of coming on the market. Homes under $200K are getting multiple offers. People are coming out of the woodwork with cash and buying up investment property like crazy. Between March 2011 and March 2012, the average price of sold homes increased by 3.7%, and condos/townhomes by 1.2%. In March a year ago, there were 13,712 homes for sale. For the same period this year? 8,303. That’s a drop of almost 40% in the amount of homes for sale. We now have a little less than 3 months of inventory, which means we are in the middle of a seller’s market.

littlekittie on April 19, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Real estate sales are always local. What happens in one area, is not the same in another area. The numbers provided by the National Association of Realtors are nationwide, and it’s important to understand it’s not a representation of local markets.

This!

Vince on April 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM

That’s impossible. Nobody is buying houses because of Obama. You must be a liberal troll.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Er…J.E. is a contributor to this site. Relax, dude.

alwaysfiredup on April 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Are you denying the fact REIT is up 300% since Obama took office?

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Yes, the people with money, a very low debt to income ratio, and good net worth always do better during recessions and depressions. The Great Depression made a lot of millionaires.

You and other real estate investors are able to take advantage of the collapse in the market to buy at discount. I could buy a HUD foreclosure right now at 75% of even a depressed valuation, keep it until the market turns around and be way above water.

That does not mean the economy is doing well. You probably also hate the banks for making a profit, side with the occupy crowd, etc. If you go into a depression or recession with low or no debt, cash on hand or a very secure job, you can come out of it much better off than before. You get to “buy low”.

That does not equate in ANY WAY to better off for anybody else, but like a typical liberal, you live by anecdote. “Things are great, I know because of how well I’m doing!” “We need universal health care because I know of one guy who knows my cousin who got screwed by insurance!” Millions of foreclosures haven’t happened because of the government suit against banks that JUST ended. Another chance for you to increase YOUR net worth, but not good news for the economy and everybody else trying to sell a house because it WILL depress home values because it will depress appraisals that banks use to lend on.

Believe me, if I wasn’t trying to climb out of the debt from a divorce, I’d own several HUD homes by now, be renting them out and preparing to watch my net worth go up when conservatives have a large enough voice in Jan 2013 to turn this thing around!

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM

The left blames banks. The right blames Obama. It’s idiotic on both sides. The real culprit is the tens of millions of people who used their house like an ATM to live a lifestyle they could not afford.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Banks and politicians do share some blame. Fannie/Freddie should never have bought subprime loans. Banks who issued them should have had to keep them on their books so that they were responsible if a lot of lending decisions went bad (which they did). Also, lots of people bought only the house they needed and could afford but then lost a job because of the crappy economy. there’s a lot of fault to go around and a heaping spoonful of plain bad luck.

alwaysfiredup on April 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Do you not know how to read a chart. REIT is up 300% since early 2009. This is not opinion, it’s fact.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Er…J.E. is a contributor to this site. Relax, dude.

alwaysfiredup on April 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Your sarcasm decoder ring needs to be replaced.:)

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Your sarcasm decoder ring needs to be replaced.:)

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Ah. My bad.

alwaysfiredup on April 19, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Believe me, if I wasn’t trying to climb out of the debt from a divorce, I’d own several HUD homes by now, be renting them out and preparing to watch my net worth go up when conservatives have a large enough voice in Jan 2013 to turn this thing around!

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM

This makes no sense. You admit there is opportunity now to make money in r/e. Yet you complain about who is in power. Is Obama to blame for your divorce too? The ODS is in overdrive here.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 4:39 PM

The left blames banks. The right blames Obama. It’s idiotic on both sides. The real culprit is the tens of millions of people who used their house like an ATM to live a lifestyle they could not afford.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

The right doesn’t blame Obama. The right blames the decision by Harold Raines and Bill Clinton to force Fannie and Freddie to create a market for subprime paper, and to support ACORN’s push to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. They said not lending to somebody who couldn’t document any income was “racist.”

That created millions of buyers that couldn’t enter the market before and should have never been buying a house in the first place. Those buyers pushed up the values of homes way faster than inflation, a completely new trend. You can mark it on the graphs. The Bush administration warned congress 23 times from the year they took office that the backing and backstopping of subprime paper would create a bubble and a crash, but people like Maxine Waters praised the now head of Fannie Mae, Harold Raines, “for his excellent management of Fannie Mae.” Harold left in an accounting scandal with a $75 MILLION parachute.

With their houses now increasing by 10-20% every year in value, and being told by talking heads on every channel (except Peter Schiff), even as late as summer 2007, that the unpegged rise would never end, of course people pulled out the equity. $50,000 for 30 years at 5% and a third of the payment for a direct loan on a BMW? Of course they did it!

I’m sure you’ve seen at least one variation of this:

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Grr, dumb links. Go search for Peter Schiff was right on YouTube.

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

This makes no sense. You admit there is opportunity now to make money in r/e. Yet you complain about who is in power. Is Obama to blame for your divorce too? The ODS is in overdrive here.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 4:39 PM

No I don’t blame Obama for my divorce. I blame Obama for regulatory and spending policies that are causing the bad economic conditions that’s depressing the housing markets overall. I’m saying you claiming everything is fine because “you’ve been able to buy three houses and rent them easily,” is bull. You have the ability to buy, but you’re part of a smaller group than has existed in over a decade!

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw

Real unemployment at 11%.

Record foreclosures.

Thousands of new regulations.

Deficits growing at a trillion dollars a year.

But everything is fine folks! Angryed is able to buy and rent out homes just fine! We’re totally overblowing these numbers.

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Consider my comment (below) that I had posted on Ed’s related thread that he refers to above:

On top of that, residential housing starts plummeted 5.8% in March, although permits jumped by over 7%.  Most of the decline came in multi-unit housing.  Permits, however, sharply declined for private single-unit housing:

Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000. This is 5.8 percent (±15.6%)* below the revised February estimate of 694,000, but is 10.3 percent (±14.6%)* above the March 2011 rate of 593,000.

Maybe Ed didn’t mean the top statement, “… residential housing starts plummeted 5.8% in March…“, but that doesn’t make sense.
Consider the following reference regarding statistics from the source Ed links above…

* 90% confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.

I’m not a statistician, but this means the 5.8% decrease that Ed alludes to above truly lies somewhere in the range from 5.8% +/- 15.6%, or in other words, somewhere between -9.8% and 21.4%, including all points in between…
The only relevant point anyone, including Ed, should make is that there is NO significant change among the numbers above, which does not lessen the point.
Let’s not become like liberals who try to see significance where there is none…
Danny on April 18, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Without any other statistical information, is the change cited above truly significant? Or is it simply variable, like weather cycles.

Again, not detracting from the main point, the meaning is the same… Bad for liberals.

Danny on April 19, 2012 at 5:08 PM

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Do you not know how to read a chart. REIT is up 300% since early 2009. This is not opinion, it’s fact.

angryed on April 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM

REIT being up does not mean squat. Woohoo! People that came into the recession in good shape are making money by buying foreclosures and turning a profit! Yay for them!

How does that help the part of the population that is not included in the lowest workforce particpation rate recorded? It’s a straw man. Look! Somebody is making money, RE is fine! All it’s doing is consolidating weatlh, which I’m not against but is DEFINITELY not a sign of a recovery. When unemployment is back at the levels the year before Democrats took over both houses (2006), then I’ll give a rat’s you know what how well investors are doing.

I never said your REIT numbers were wrong. But they only mean something if everybody that owns real estate benefits, but they don’t. Only the people invested and participating in them are benefitting, while many Americans lose all their real estate holdings to an overburdened collapsing economy.

PastorJon on April 19, 2012 at 5:33 PM

angryed on April 19, 2012

I call BS.

MichaelGabriel on April 19, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Housing Sporing!!!!

LegendHasIt on April 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Extra o. Duh

LegendHasIt on April 19, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Hide the decline!

ITguy on April 19, 2012 at 9:37 PM

none of this is unexpected. All of this could be easily seen ocurring when Gasoline rose above $3.5/gal. this past winter saw some economic growth because Gasoline fell below $3.50/gal on avg across the country. Once gasoline went back above that level anyone with half a mind could see this happening. the same thing happened in 2007, 2009-2012. Of course back then the idiots missed it then also and only saw the economy getting bad when housing tanked. they missed the connection between gasoline prices and economic growth. and sadly the “smart people” are missing it again.

unseen on April 20, 2012 at 8:23 AM

DHChron on April 19, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Yes He Can!

Maybe AP should do some spring-cleaning, getting a bit fetid in here.

TallDave on April 20, 2012 at 9:38 AM

This is anecdotal, if anyone has good figures on this please add them.

A drop in sales in March might be due to the new appraisal rules, for any mortgage that might end up at Fanny/Freddie. The Dodd Frank effects a new rule or two on appraisals, which thwarts the spring uptick in prices, here is how:

The banks can only use 90 day comparative sales for price comparisons, so any fire sales that happened in Thanksgiving or Christmastime, not big real estate time of the year, are the sales they are looking for right now for comparables. They can’t use homes that sold in August or June or last May. That is NUTS.

They also cannot use local information they have to go by appraisals for a general type of house in a radius around your area, not what we think of as comparables by location location location, which is why one small colonial brings in $180, and another small colonial is $750K. Just miles of one another.

Does anyone know if this is the effect that is working out there?
A realtor told me that she prices the home for sales in the area, and then the appraisers come in and undermine the sale. Usually the home seller does not sell. Let’s say they were someone who was interested in upgrading to something they saw that was priced right in their view, but now they can’t sell because the appraisers cannot be from your local area. Something like that.

Fleuries on April 20, 2012 at 8:13 PM

To you people who like to scold other people for “living beyond your means,” well that is ANY installment loan, so you could never take any mortgage, let alone the one for your dream home.

The real estate crisis was made worse by the unemployment. Saying people over bought, went away a long time ago. A lot of people could have held on to their payments for a year.

My spouse was unemployed from a professional position for two years at 911, and we paid the mortgage first. This economy prevented that because of the shortage of jobs/contract work, and the fact that businesses continuing to lay off are not looking for new employees.

And that was Obama’s fault, he wouldn’t cut spending, he increased spending to save the state governments, and their workers, and the teachers police and firemen. But that doesn’t save the people that pay for the government. It just makes their bill that much bigger.

He funded government and didn’t do anything to free up the free economy, he raised all departments of the federal government by 25%, thru the stimulus bill instead of rolling back the cost of government on society. Causing stagnation.

And all of the programs they have put out for people with a mortgage in trouble would not have been needed if they had got back to work in 6 months, or a year…or like I said, even two years. This is three years, this is Obama’s plan, the New Normal. They don’t have a lot of interest in your house getting it’s value back, because they think it is unfair that some houses are worth more and in better neighborhoods than others. They want them all worth less, and better yet, all worth the same.

Fleuries on April 20, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Mitt is another politician that refuses to see the bigger picture. His plan to fix the housing market falls flat because he too is afraid to tackle the problem behind it, the liberal management of Fannie/Freddie.

Gary Johnson knows where the problem lays and how to fix it.

Mittens 2012: More of the same

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM

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