Existing Home Sales Fall for 6th Month; Home Prices Post Biggest Drop in 16 Years

AP reports today:

The National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing single-family homes dropped by 4.3 percent in August, compared to July. Sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate dropped to 5.5 million units, the slowest pace since August 2002…

…many analysts believe that sales and prices will fall further as the housing market receives additional blows from rising default rates that are dumping more homes on an already glutted market and causing lenders to tighten standards. These factors have made it harder for potential borrowers to qualify for loans…

The fall in sales pushed the inventory of unsold homes to a record 4.58 million in August. That means it would take 10 months to exhaust the inventory of homes on the market at the August sales pace, also a record figure.

See also:

U.S. Homes Post Steepest Price Drop in 16 Years
An index of 10 U.S. cities fell 4.5 percent in July from a year ago. That was the biggest drop since July 1991…

Yale economist Robert Shiller, who helped create the indices, said in a statement, “The further deceleration in prices is still apparent across the majority of regions.” Shiller is also MacroMarkets LLC’s chief economist and perhaps is best known for predicting the dot-com bust.

House prices to drop much lower: Greenspan
“It’s a difficult situation, there is an enormous overhang on the real estate market,” Greenspan was quoted as saying. “Many buildings which just have been finished can’t be sold …”

“So far, prices have dropped only slightly. But it was enough to cause alarm around the world,” he said. “Prices are going to fall much lower yet.”