AP: Backlog of unsold single-family homes at highest level since 1985

AP reports today:

Sales of existing homes fall 1 percent in April, eighth drop in past 9 months

The National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales dropped by 1 percent to 4.89 million units, matching the all-time low set in January. These records go back to 1999.

The median price for an existing home dropped 8 percent, compared with a year ago, to $202,300. Analysts predicted further price declines given the huge backlog of unsold single-family homes, which rose in April to 10.7 months supply at the current sales pace, the highest inventory level since June 1985…

Sales were down the most in the Midwest, a drop of 6 percent, followed by a 4.4 percent decline in the Northeast…

“With prices collapsing, the incentive not to buy a home is increasing by the week, and with inventory showing no sign of improvement, prices will keep falling,” predicted Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

See also:

AP: “US home prices tumble a record 14.1 pct in 1Q” (5/27/08)
Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller said its national home price index fell 14.1 percent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, the lowest since its inception in 1988.

New York Times: Downsides of Owning a Condo in a Downturn (5/15/08)
“…your fate is tied to 50 or 100 other people who may stop making
their condo payments,” [says Sam Chandan, chief economist at the real
estate research firm Reis]…

Sales of existing condo units were down 26 percent in March from a year
earlier, compared with an 18 percent decline for single-family homes,
according to the National Association of Realtors.

hunters say they are reluctant to buy into a building even when the
upfront cost seems low because they might have to pay unexpected fees
as distressed neighbors default on their mortgages or just stop paying
the association fees that cover everything from taxes to pool
maintenance to air-conditioning repair…

Boston Globe: “Housing prices keep falling as slump enters its third year” (4/29/08)

Woes in Condo Market Build As New Supply Floods Cities: Wall Street Journal (3/22/08)