Wednesday, August 15, 2007
NAR Q2 Median Home Prices
The US National Association of Realtors released their 2007 Q2 data on existing home sales and here are some of the highlights of their press release:
"Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.91 million units in the second quarter, down 10.8 percent from a 6.63 million-unit pace in the second quarter of 2006."
"The national median existing single-family home price was $223,800 in the second quarter, down 1.5 percent from the second quarter of 2006 when the median price was $227,100. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less, but there has been a downward skew in the national comparison because sales have declined in many high-cost areas and risen in some lower cost markets."
"The median existing single-family home price in the West was $349,400 in the second quarter, down 0.4 percent from a year ago."
I am having trouble with even bothering with the median house price data and determining how useful it is. The median can be moved quite drastically by the sales mix. For example, if a lot of high priced home sell but very few low priced homes sell then the median would obviously be higher. The opposite can also be true.
Ideally, I would prefer a benchmark index like the REBGV or FVREB uses or even better would be a house price index like the Case-Shiller index which uses the repeat sales method for calculating price changes in a real estate market.
Nevertheless, we have this data and it has some use, however limited it may be.