OpinionMarkets & Economy

‘Winter sales are down,’ and it’s December Fool’s Day

Slower sales in December are normal, not cause for alarm
  • December is so slow that no December housing data ever matters.
  • No housing trend ever began in December.

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The National Association of Realtors says it had 1,179,099 members at the end of November. That's a lot of people depending on NAR -- and affiliating the Association's proprietary "Realtor" moniker with projects it no longer operates, including the portal realtor.com. I was first a NAR member in 1978. It is Christmastime, and I should maintain a charitable spirit, but I spent years in the bond market, which embedded an inescapable edge of Scrooge and Marley. On Monday this week, realtor.com sent a market update to all media, hoping as always for maximum coverage. I know it's a slow news week, skeleton staffs trying to generate something to keep bosses off backs, but ... this? "Realtor.com First Look: December Is Cooler and Slower." Right. Got that: the housing market is not as hot, listings pokey. But, guys ... every December is cooler and slower. Oddly enough, Christmas usually falls in December, followed by New Year's (I think ... that's what my calendar says). D...