Dealer Data: Housing Market Takes a Dip
There are many bellwethers for retailers, one of the most important of which is the housing market. And retailers should take heed that the booming housing market of the last few years is heading for more conservative territory. Several groups have reported that closing prices of homes has been dropping this year. The most recent has come from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a group that is calling the drops a return to “a sustainable pace.”
According to NAR, total existing-home sales -- including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- slipped 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.30 million units in August from a level of 6.33 million Ju1y, and were 12.6 percent lower than the 7.21 million-unit pace in August 2005.
The group further reported that the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $225,000 in August, down 1.7 percent from August 2005 when the median was $229,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Total housing inventory levels rose 1.5 percent at the end of August to 3.92 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.5-month supply at the current sales pace.