Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Housing Slump Continues

Sales of existing US homes fell much more heavily than predicted in June to their lowest level in over four and a half years as the property market continued to display shaky foundations, an industry survey showed Wednesday.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said existing home sales dropped 3.8 percent to an annualized pace of 5.75 million last month, worse than analyst forecasts which had anticipated only a decline to 5.90 million properties.

May sales were revised down to a rate of 5.98 million apartments and homes, and sales have now fallen for four straight months.
Last week I wrote about a friend in the mortgage industry who said her firm has slowed to a crawl. Another friend in the industry said stricter underwriting guidelines have killed every deal he had pending. This is not a good sign for the short term economic health of the nation but I think it is actually healthy for long term growth.

People need to buy homes that they can truly afford and that is becoming harder and harder to do. A real correction in home prices can only make that goal more achievable.

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