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[Getting Graphic] The Housing Market Is Headed South

Getting Graphic is a semi-sort-of-irregular collection of our favorite BIG real estate-related chart(s).

Click here for full graphic [NYT] [1]

Well, sort of.

One of the long used investment arguments for the housing market has been the idea that housing prices have never declined in the modern era. This shouldn’t (but it does) suggest that prices don’t decline. Its a play on statistics.

This month, three of four national regions saw a drop in median sales prices and all regions saw sharp drops in the number of sales. This is still is a play on statistics since I would guess that housing prices in many of the three regions (all but the South) are not falling, but rather, the mix of units has changed. This is not to say they won’t, but I don’t get the impression that sales prices (not list prices) are actually falling on most actual transactions based on current media coverage.

Its also interesting that national inventory absorption now takes 7.3 months versus 4.6 months a year ago.

Perception-wise, its going to get interesting if the South stops holding everyone else up. Market psychology/mob mentality is a fragile thing.