Predictions that the US housing market may have passed its latest
nadir have not been borne out by December existing home sales returns.
But US estate agents are still hopeful.
The month saw a seasonally adjusted 0.8 per cent dip in the seasonally
adjusted sales of existing single family homes, including town
houses, condominiums and co-ops between November and December.
The month was also 7.9 per cent down on the same month in 2005.
Throughout the year there were 6.5m existing home sales in all
of 2006, down 8.4 per cent on the record 7.1 homes sold in the
2005 calendar year.
all of the doom and gloom stories and dire predictions over the
last year, 2006 was the third strongest year on record
for existing home sales’, said NAR chief economist David
Lereah. ‘It looks like we’re moving beyond the low
for the housing cycle last fall, and buyers are responding to historically
low interest rates and competitive pricing by home sellers. In
addition, a tightening inventory of homes on the market is supporting
NAR put the December national median existing home
price for all housing types at £113,300, which was unchanged
from December 2005.
Single family home sales slipped 1.3 per cent on
the month and were down 7.2 per cent on December 2005. The median
family home price was £113,100.
December, which was unchanged from a year ago. For all of 2006,
the median single-family price was $222,000, up 1.4 percent from
Existing condominium and cooperative housing sales
rose 2.1 per cent on the month but were 12.2 per cent down on
The median existing condo price was put at £115,900, 0.3
per cent down on December 2005.
Florida’s housing market mirrored the national trend in
2006, with sales of existing single-family homes slowing to ‘a
more sustainable pace following a five-year run of record closings’,
said the Florida Association of Realtors.
It logged a 28 per cent fall in existing home sales
during 2006 but a 6 per cent increase in prices to an average
‘The housing market transitioned to a more sustainable balance
during 2006, coming off the record-setting sales pace and price
gains of the previous five years’, said FAR president Nancy
Riley. ‘With mortgage rates continuing to remain historically
low, stable home prices and at last, some inventory, now is the
time to take advantage of the homeownership opportunities we have
throughout the Sunshine State’.
In California home sales were down 15.3 per cent on the previous
December while the median price was up 3.7 per cent.
'The market continues to level out as buyers and sellers
search for common ground in today’s more balanced environment’,
said California Association of Realtors president Colleen Badagliacco. ‘The
number of homes for sale peaked in June and July and has since
edged downward. Although time on the market remains higher than
it was a year ago, competitively priced homes continue to sell