So CA Home Sales Crash in March
Numbers from the Southern California Multiple Listing Service show that total proceeds from home sales last month amounted to just over half of what home sellers reaped in March 2007, the Pacific West Association of Realtors reports.
Orange County homebuyers paid $927 million to buy 1,409 homes purchased through the MLS last month, compared to $1.8 billion in total proceeds paid in March 2007, SoCal MLS figures show. That’s a decrease of 48.6%.
They call that a depression in many circles. That is over $50 million in income not received by RE brokers. That means about half the income of RE brokers has evaporated in just a year. Add in lawyers and title companies and mortgage companies and the numbers grow very fast. Millions not received by the state for transfer taxes. We could go on and on. Revenues and incomes are contracting all over the country at an incredible pace. Retailers are going bankrupct or shutting down due to shrinking sales:
The consumer spending slump and tightening credit markets are unleashing a widening wave of bankruptcies in American retailing, prompting thousands of store closings that are expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.
The spillover has not left the office market unblemished either:
Voit Commercial Brokerage says economic uncertainty hit the O.C. office market in the first quarter, with vacancies rising into double-digit territory while lease rates and construction declined. (CLICK HERE for the full report.)
Among the highlights:
The vacancy rate was 13.82%, up 63% from the first quarter of 2007, when rates were a near-record low of 8.47%
UP 63%. And that doesn't factor the continued slowing into March.
I am not sure we have ever seen contraction at this pace ever. But we have never faced a credit crisis of this magnitude ever before either. Wealth is evaporating daily as house values collapse, commercial RE values implode, and bond values shrink.
Now we face rising commodity prices and falling income. Oil reaching levels never seen before. Food riots breaking out all over the world, World Leaders saying this downturn will be protracted, and Goldman saying near term profits will be "awful."
What do you think, we are at the bottom?