Thursday, January 04, 2007

Painting the Real Estate Masterpiece in '07

No, Leonardo DaVinci didn’t use decimals, percentages, and figures to design his legendary artwork, but in the Louvre of the real estate industry, fresh numbers just might paint a pretty picture.

The numbers compiled from of residential housing sales for November ’06 just rolled in and they begin to validate the housing trend that many experts are expecting – and, fortunately, show promise for ’07 being a comeback year.

Overall residential sales in the U.S. rose a modest, but satisfying 0.6% from October ’06, along with a similar rise in prices. This is the second month in a row that both sales and pricing have returned to a climbing trend – and this bodes well for market analysts.

On a regional scale, the Northeast did the best, rising 6% in sales. The West saw a modest increase of 0.8%, while the Midwest stayed even, and the South took a slight loss. These numbers averaged out to a positive 0.6% nationwide.

But this modest rise must be put in prospective to understand the big picture and define the rollercoaster of the housing boom and bust. Despite the growth, sales in November were still down 10.7% from the same time a year ago and prices were down 3.1% from ’05.

The numbers told the story, as realtors watched the market bloat by nearly a million sales between 2003 and 2005, with the peak of the boom reaching 7,075,000 sales by late ’05. The bust came even more quickly, with sales bottoming out in September ’06 at just over six million.

But the rising trends in October and November have market experts grinning. Evidence supports that this modest rising trend should continue well into the new year and beyond. The good news about the small gains approach is that it is much more sustainable over the long run than the huge gains witnessed in ’03 and ’04, and their corresponding free falls.

We’ll keep you up-to-date on the beautiful strokes of real estate watercolors as ’07 works out its own fresh canvas. As always, check out more real estate news for Seattle and the country at and take advantage of our website IDX tools at



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