The NAR reports: July Existing-Home Sales Fall as Expected but Prices Rise:
Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 27.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million units in July from a downwardly revised 5.26 million in June, and are 25.5 percent below the 5.14 million-unit level in July 2009.
Sales are at the lowest level since the total existing-home sales series launched in 1999, and single family sales – accounting for the bulk of transactions – are at the lowest level since May of 1995.
Total housing inventory at the end of July increased 2.5 percent to 3.98 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 12.5-month supply at the current sales pace, up from an 8.9-month supply in June.Months of supply increased to 12.5 months in July from 8.9 months in June. A normal market has under 6 months of supply, so this is extremely high and suggests prices, as measured by the repeat sales indexes like Case-Shiller and CoreLogic, will start declining.
And in the more bad news category (if you have dealings with the State of California) - California has just passed a measure which for the second time in as many years (going all the way back to the Great Depression), will allow it to use IOUs in lieu of payment on everything from supplies to contracted services and health-care costs, so it can actually preserve cash to make payments to its generous debtors.