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Archive for November 12th, 2009

Everything is Super! Buy a House! Really!

You know the drill. Start with the vaguely bait-and-switch UPoR story which chooses to emphasize that the number of homes sold went up in October rather than the fact that average sales prices fell again. And fell despite a sun-setting (or so buyers thought) $8000 federal tax credit.

The average sales price in the Charlotte region is now $196,204 down from $216,777 in October 2008. What is fascinating to me and is direct evidence of continued delusion about the local housing market is that the “listing gap” — the difference between the listing price of home and the price for which it was sold — has actually grown since last year.

In October 2008 the listing gap stood at 8.8 percent, average listing price was $237,436. For some markets this would be a little high, but Charlotte has been a little soft on listing prices for decade or more. I’ve been told this was a function of all the spec-built homes and all the corporate re-los, but whatever. Now that listing gap has grown to 10.1 percent, with an average listing price of $218,050. Clearly Realtors and home sellers are over-shooting their market-clearing prices and have not corrected them.

Nationally, there are some 7 million (!) homes seized by someone who does not want them yet to come on the market. This is why sober analysts think that the real estate market will not bottom until Q2 of 2010. Considering that the Charlotte area has lagged national trends, figure on the end of Q2 or maybe even the start of Q3 depending on local employment trends.

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Lou Dobbs: FOX or a Candidacy?

FOX News is the obvious move. But across the river from his New Jersey home, a vulnerable Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is up in a special election. Just saying.

Update: The Christian Science Monitor pumps the notion that Dobbs might run for president. Gotta believe he is too smart for that — and I don’t think he is very smart. But he might be sufficiently delusional….

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November 2009
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