The National Association of Realtors has a hard time this month spinning their own data release:
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $203,100 in August, down 9.5 percent from a year ago when the median was $224,400.
This looks even worse when you get out last month’s release:
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $212,400 in July, down 7.1 percent from a year ago when the median was $228,600.
When the annual rate of change rises to 9.5% from 7.1%, that’s bad. But look at it another way, and it’s much worse. Over the past year, the median house price has fallen by $21,300. And over the past month, the median house price has fallen by $9,300. Which means that 44% of the drop in house prices over the past year took place in the last month.
Now year-on-year statistics are generally more useful than month-on-month statistics, so it’s important not to read too much into this, especially given the low level of housing sales in August of any year, let alone this one. I’m reasonably hopeful that the median house price will go back up in next month’s release. But still, it’s a sobering indication that even the rate of change of house price declines isn’t showing any grounds for hope.