Thursday, September 27, 2007

August Housing in a historical context

Professor Hamilton has a great graph at Econbrowser that leapt out to me in how quickly and succintly it tells the housing market story of this year. As he explains, the yearly low point for sales is December as who wants the hassle of buying or selling a house and moving over the Christmas holiday. Typical patterns see increases as the year goes long, peaking in late summer and the downsloping again for the fall. And yet 2007 has not seen this behavior in the housing market. Instead we see something ugly:



August 2007 home sales are below December 2006 home sales. This is a new event in the forty plus years of data. And given that August is the first month in which the credit market freeze-up for MBSs could have results, we should expect to see even worse comparative results going forward.