Housing Market Still Looking for a Bottom

The glut of homes on the market widens.

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Yuck! The National Association of Realtors reported today that existing-homes sales plunged 8 percent last month, far worse than the 4.5 percent analysts had been expecting. Cleary, the numbers reflect the bite of the credit crunch in August. But here are the numbers you should really focus on, courtesy of Action Economics:

The supply of single family homes rose to 10.2 months in September from 9.3. This marks the highest inventory level since 1986 and highlights the continued difficulties in the residential housing market. The months supply for total existing homes (single family plus condo/co-op sales) surged to 10.5 months from 9.6 months, the strongest on record going back to January of 1999. Meanwhile, the condo/co-op supply surged to 12.6 months from 11.4, the highest level on record going back to 1999.

Let me know when those numbers start shrinking.