Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday Stats (on Monday)

bar-graph-by-miamiamia-id-9878042photo credit to MiamiAmia,  via StockExchange.

Click here to see the entire Sunday Stats series, and for historical perspective.

111708I've added a new field this week, the Median Sold Price. This is the number at which half the sold home prices are higher than the stated median, and half the sold home prices are lower than the stated median.

To find the median, list all the sold prices in row from smallest to biggest. The number that's exactly in the middle of the line is the median.

Median is much less volatile than average, and so more useful when comparing an already volatile housing market.

Think of it this way (big hat tip to Nobel prize winner and Princeton economist, Paul Krugman for this): if there are 50 people in your neighborhood bar and Bill Gates walks in, the average income of the people in the bar just skyrocketed. But the median income won't have moved so much, because old Bill just gets added to the end of the line and counted as 1 in the string.

In any case, we're still awash in red ink. Red represents a field that's moved in a negative direction since last week. Negatives in our current market are: more inventory for sale, fewer homes going pending, fewer homes selling in the past 30 days, and/or a larger number for months of inventory.

I'm assuming we all want the housing market to get back to "normal" when I color code these charts. Normal is about 6 months of inventory on the market. We're at 14. Not so healthy. Let's see what next week brings.