News: US housing crash continues

Fri, 25 May 07

Existing home sales in the US fell sharply again in April...

Sales were down 2.6% to a 5.99 mln annual rate according to the National Association of Realtors.

That was worse than the expected 6.15 mln rate, but not as bad as the 7.9% March decline. Year-on-year, April sales were down 10.7%.

The number of unsold homes left on the market was up 10.4%. That's an 8.4 months supply and the biggest inventory of single-family houses since August of 1992.

Homeowners were still not cutting prices dramatically to sell their houses last month. The median price was down 0.8 pct from April of 2006 to 220,900 US$.

The April sales decline partly reflected bad weather in February and March.

The NAR's senior economist, Lawrence Yun, also blamed the sub-prime 'mess,' saying would-be buyers who had contracts with lenders that went bankrupt were 'scrambling to restart the whole process.'

Single-family home sales fell 2.4% in April while condo sales dropped 3.4%. Yun said the difference reflects the absence of many investment buyers and the move by others into single family homes.

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