September Existing Home Sales Down 8% Nationally, 28% in Twin Cities

by Alex Stenback on October 24, 2007

More blood on the streets today for homesellers, as the NAR reports September existing home sales down 8% nationally:

Sales of previously owned homes fell 8 percent in September to an annual rate of 5.04 million, the fewest since records began in 1999, the National Association of Realtors said in Washington. The decline was almost twice as steep as economists forecast,

Of course, all real estate is local, as they say, so we spoke with the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors director of research Jeff Allen (whose research and reports page is dynamite, by the way) to drill down a bit and get the local picture.

Turns out, the local picture is even worse, for September at least.  In the 13 county Twin Cities metro area, sales of previously owned/existing homes dropped by a whopping 28% – from 3,329 closed sales in September 2006 to 2,398 closed sales in September 2007.

That is jaw dropping stuff, though Mr. Allen does caution against reading to much into that figure:

The sample size in our market is small enough that the month-to-month fluctuations can be sizable – which is why we use the year over year sales of previously owned homes, rather than month-to-month figures like the NAR.

This metric (see graphic below, which can be found in its entirety here) shows year over year sales of previously owned homes down 12.8% – still a big drop, to be sure, but not so bleak as a 28% drop might suggest.

Either way, we’ve got a bear of a sellers market to conted with, and despite all the chatter about a buyers market, these stats suggest they have not yet shown up for the party.
Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors []
Existing Home Sales Take Record Dive [Startribune]

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