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Time for my quarterly update of the housing situation in the United States, using the single-best barometer of all, existing home prices as published each month by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Other measures, such as the S&P/Case-Shiller index, are good but they don’t have the track record the NAR database does.
As you are well aware, home prices rise in the spring as activity picks up after the doldrums of the fall and winter so I thought we’d look at the trends for the past two quarters…using the national median home price.
Aug….$171,200 [yes, unch.]
So you can see home prices for a given year peak in the June/July period, then go down, and then go up, and then down…only you hope that each year in total they rise.
Using the NAR’s data, the median average for a full year was as follows.
*Existing home prices peaked in July 2006 at $230,200…according to NAR. You can play around with the numbers any way you want but generally you’re talking of a ‘formal’ decline of 30%, peak to trough. But that’s a national figure. Of course the damage elsewhere has been far worse.
Wall Street History will return in two weeks.