In The West, The Buyers Have Disappeared

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A report from the Wall Street Journal. “Sales of previously owned U.S. homes edged up in November from a month earlier but clocked the largest annual decline in more than seven years, signaling the sputtering housing market may finish the year on a soft note. Sales in November decreased 7% from a year earlier, the largest year-to-year drop since a May 2011 decline.”

“The western U.S. is enduring an especially precipitous housing slowdown, reflecting affordability challenges in markets including Seattle and San Francisco. Existing-home sales in the West declined 15.4% in November from a year earlier.”

“In the West, ‘The buyers have disappeared; inventory is sitting on the market,’ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. Prices there may soon start falling, he said, which could be a relief for buyers but could cause panic among sellers.”

The Dallas Morning News in Texas. “At first glance North Texas’ November home sales decline was bad. And looking closer at the 4-county Dallas-Fort Worth area the annual home sales declines were even worse.”

“Total home sales in November for all of North Texas were down 8 percent from November 2017 – the largest such decrease in more than seven years. The year-over-year home sales decline in three of the D-FW area’s central counties – Collin, Dallas and Denton – where even steeper than the overall area.”

“Dallas County home sales by real estate agents through their multiple listing service fell 14.7 percent from November 2017 totals, according to an analysis from the MetroTex Association of Realtors. And the number of houses up for sale in Dallas County was up 29 percent from a year ago – another sign the market is slowing.”

“Collin County home sales in November fell 14.4 percent from a year ago. And sales were down 10.5 percent in Denton County. Paige Shipp with Metrostudy Inc. said that many buyers were caught off guard by the higher home finance costs this year.”

“‘They are going out and realizing that what they thought they could buy they can’t now,’ Shipp said. ‘I think the buyers have to reset their thinking.'”

“The same goes for sellers, she said. ‘Sellers thought for a long time that it was normal to put your house on the market and have it sell in three days with multiple offers,’ Shipp said. ‘That’s not normal. Some sellers are still overpricing their property thinking it’s a year ago.'”

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