Sales of existing homes in 2007 totalled under 5.7 million units, down 12.8% from 2006 results, according to preliminary figures released by the National Association of Realtors. The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate for existing homes in December didn't quite reach 4.9 million units, down 22% from the pace in December, 2006; the single family sales rate for the month slipped 21.6% to about 4.3 million units per year.
At December's sales rate, there were 9.6 months worth of unsold existing homes already on the morning. That's 45.8% higher than the inventory rate in the last month of 2006.
The median sales price for an existing home in 2007 was $218,900, down 1.4% from $221,900 in 2006. That's the first yearly drop in median sales price since NAR started collecting stats in 1968; some sources say it is the first time such a thing has happened since the Great Depression.
For anxiety fans, that's the second major economic indicator that's dipped to levels not seen since the Joad family was active; the US saving rate recently dipped into negative territory, which hadn't happened since 1933.