Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Bad Month!

We got confirmation that the turn is here with the April numbers. April was a uneventful month weatherwise in most of the country, so the bulls couldn't use the snow as an excuse (except maybe in Alberta?).

I asked recently whether CREA was just making up bullish fantasy numbers as they almost ignored the huge drop off in the housing market when they revised their 2008 projections downward. They did drop their estimate of housing sales but they barely touched the all-important sales price increase (5.5% to 5.3%). I figured that since they wrote it on May 6th, they must have had at least some clue on the April numbers: Since March was up only 4% YoY, they must have seen at least some stabilization in the sales price increase to justify going with a 5.3% figure for the full year. I was thinking maybe a small uptick to 5% YoY in April...

Wrong! According to CREA's numbers, April saw a YoY increase of only 3.2%. The only good news for housing bulls was that the sales drop was only 6.1% (versus an 18% drop in March). New listings soared by 18%.

For sales to average an increase of 5.3%, we would have to get some 5-6% figures in the second half. That would require not only immediate stabilization in pricing but a pickup in price. With new listings picking up, people spending a fortune on gas and the economy slowing, good luck with that.

Let's see what May brings but I think a negative number is likely before the leaves turn this fall...

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