Existing home sales improve, but still at distress levels

Sales of existing homes in November rose 6.7 percent over the previous month, but still 27.3 percent below the level a year ago.

Chart of year-over-year change in existing home sales since 2005

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report for November showing a slight bounce in sales coming in the wake of the now obviously phony baloney government tax credit sponsored surge in home sales activity seen earlier in the year.

Single family home sales increased 6.7% since October but remained a whopping 27.32% below the level seen last year while prices declined 0.12% since October but climbed 1.18% above the level seen in November 2009.

It's important to recognize that the annual pace of sales is currently well below the lows seen even during the worst months of 2008 and early 2009.

Further, inventory remains high climbing 6.7% above the level seen in November 2009 which, combined with the slow pace of sales, resulted in a large monthly supply of 9.3.

Clearly, all can now see that the government's housing tax credit was not only a gimmick... it was a complete failure, a massively wasteful and expensive handout to the housing industry and a futile and likely very dangerous exercise in market manipulation.

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