Wednesday, August 30, 2006

preise fallen in 82% aller märkte

es scehitn so als wenn sich der abschwung im august ungebremst fortgesetzt hat.

dank geht an ben und calculated risk

Aug Home Data Weak; Market Wonders If Stocks Reflect Downturn

08-29-06 01:30 PM EST
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Sales and home prices fell at a faster clip than expected and inventories climbed further in August as the housing market continued to deteriorate, according to a Banc of America Real Estate Agent survey.

And market experts believe the housing downturn will likely last longer than homebuilding stocks currently reflect.

The study, released Tuesday, shows consumer sentiment toward buying a home soured in August.

"Consumers are shifting from a mindset of waiting for a better price to one where they do not want to buy at this time, no matter what the price is," the study said.

"We think this shift in sentiment is particularly worrisome, as it could take time before the mindset shifts back and could lead the downturn to last longer," Banc of America analyst Daniel Oppenheim said.

The study also found that prices fell sequentially for the 11th consecutive month. Prices tumbled in 82% of the markets surveyed. In July, only 79% of the surveyed markets fell.

The use of incentives continued to rise, hitting record levels. The study found that incentives were used in lieu of price decreases whenever possible in weak markets, but that incentives were also used in healthy markets to allow builders to increase volume and market share.

The amount of inventory rose in all markets, except Austin, in August. The inventory of existing homes for sale reached 3.86 million in August, up from 2.15 million in January 2005.

The latest inventory level would take 7.3 months to sell at the current pace, and Banc of America analyst Dan Oppenheim expects this inventory supply could reach nine months before next spring.

Oppenheim said the survey shows prices, incentives, selling times and traffic were all worse than real estate agents had expected. "We expect that conditions are likely to worsen further through the fall/winter and into next spring," he said.

"We think this excess inventory makes it unlikely that the market will rebound in the near term," he added.

Raymond James analyst Rick Murray said the study backs up his finding that consumer sentiment has definitely shifted.

"Consumers are just of the mindset at this point that it is not the time to be buying a home and this becomes increasingly problematic for housing," Murray said.

"Inventory levels right now would suggest that this downturn is probably going to last a period of years as opposed to quarters," the analyst said.

He doesn't believe the stock prices reflect this longer-term downturn.

"We would argue that the stocks are not pricing in the prospect that this could be a very prolonged downturn similar to some that we've seen in past cycles," Murray said.

He said homebuilding stocks are currently trading at about 1.2 times book value, which is "far above where valuations have troughed in past cycles." During the housing crash of the late 1980s and early 1990s, valuations fell to 0.6 times book value. (harmoniert irgendwie nicht mit dem barrons artiekel vom wochenende, oder?

Mike Eckerman, founder of Residential Asset Management, a real estate investment company, said the "unrealistic appreciation" in home prices in certain major markets over the past few years was unsustainable. So he isn't surprised by the pullback.

He said it's investors with a day-trading mentality, who want to flip properties for big profits after a few months, who are being hit hardest. He said housing still remains a good long-term investment........



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