Wednesday, February 13, 2008

January SoCal sales slowest on record

Oh... somehow they 'reset' how they take data prior to 1988. But its bad per Dataquick.

Particularly noticeable is a drop-off in sales of more expensive homes financed with "jumbo" mortgages.

The great squish down has begun. We're going to watch high end homes push prices down. There are some very nice homes going for $2.5 to $3.0 million I'd love to buy. Maybe they'll drop enough that I'll be able to afford one... or maybe they force down the price of a more modest home.

There is a 50% YOY drop in sales in LA county! 3,398 sales in a month doesn't even begin to touch the inventory. LA is now up at Florida levels of inventory (in terms of months).

Personally, its become so obviously that there will be a large drop in home prices in 2008 that anyone who buys this year is an idiot. We have years of price drops ahead.

Got popcorn?
Neil

5 comments:

tj & the bear said...

The great squish down??? LMAO!!!

wannabuy said...

The great squish down??? LMAO!!!

I believe 'Jim the Realtor' invented that one.

Got popcorn?
Neil

Rob Dawg said...

Yes, JtR gets the credit. It was like before the bubble popped when we were discussing what to call what was coming. My term is the slinky effect.

smf said...

Neil,

Are the sales #s now comparable to historical figures?

In other words, if in the year 2000 you would sell per year 200 per 100,000 population, is the current # similar?

More or less trying to figure out if there are buyers 'sitting on the fence' or otherwise.

Did I ask the question well?

wannabuy said...

Are the sales #s now comparable to historical figures?

Actually, we went straight from above historical to below. No transition.

However, sales are historically a fraction of GNP.

Today we see:
1. Unit sales below trend.
2. Dollar sales as a fraction of GNP at the long term normal.

If we go into recession:
A. Sales should drop to 0.25% of GNP from the ~0.4% of GNP they are currently trending.
B. Ironically, unit sales will pick up once prices drop enough so that the dollars transacted stay low. I expect this to happen in 18 months.

Note: Suddenly the downturn has accelerated. We're in for a wild ride.


Got popcorn?
Neil