AnalysisMarkets & Economy

Home sales aren’t ‘collapsing’: July markets in perspective

The housing market is right where we thought it was: doing the best it can without inventory to sell

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You would think that the biggest single industry in America would have really good reporting of sales activity and other market measurements. Dream on. Mercifully we do not labor with fake news, but we do suffer under a mountain of alleged news which is not news, and big headlines above non-news. This week’s click-magnet headlines: “July Sales of New Homes Collapse 9.4%!” followed in couple of days later by “Big Declines in July Sales of Existing Homes!” First the math, for which I apologize. The definitive reports of home sales are the monthly result multiplied by 12 months to get an annual figure, and then re-computed as the percentage change in the annual figure. If we multiply anything by twelve, we’re going to artificially magnify any actual month-to-month result. Example: July’s existing-home annualized rate of sale was 5,440,000 versus 5,551,000 in June. Both figures also “seasonally adjusted” by wet-thumb-in-breeze. Any real statistician would say...