Here is some news from the US:
1) The S&P Case-Shiller House Price index posted its largest decline in 16 years. Wall Street Journal. S&P Press Release.
2) The National Association of Realtors released existing home sales for August. The national inventory of existing homes for sale reached 10 months of supply. This does not include new homes. Here is Calculated Risk's take.
The data out of the US housing market continues to surprise to the downside even for many of the most bearish prognosticators and certainly it seems to have quite a ways to go yet. Every month we hear a new person boldly declaring that "housing has hit bottom" but every month they are proven wrong. I think, based on past downturns, we have 2-4 more years to go before recovery begins.
Before it's all said and done Vancouver may have the title of most expensive single family homes in North America.
The California Association of Realtors released stats today. Highlights of C.A.R.’s resale housing figures for August 2007:
C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in August 2007 was 11.8 months, compared with 5.9 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 6.57 percent during August 2007, compared with 6.52 percent in August 2006, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 5.67 percent in August 2007 compared with 5.64 percent in August 2006.
The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 55.5 days in August 2007, compared with 50.9 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.
An interesting quote:
“Despite the overall increase in the statewide median price, prices declined in nine regions last month, falling 11.5 percent in the Central Valley region and 12.1 percent in Sacramento,” said C.A.R. President Colleen Badagliacco. “Price softness is even more pronounced when we look at different segments of the market. For example, the statewide median price in the entry-level price range of less than $500,000 fell 5.1 percent in August to $349,360 compared with $368,210 for the same period a year ago."