Jay Butler gives his thumbs up to a declining marketFirst, let’s start off with something that most bloggers have already said, but bears repeating:

Jay Butler is a liar. Jay Butler is a windbag.

Now you don’t have to take my word for it. Take this one, or this one :)

Ok, much better. So each week when AZCentral or another publication takes Jay Butler’s word for gospel and reprints it, we all breathe a collective sigh of relief. For example, Jay Butler said:

While the current level of activity brings much needed stability, the 2007 year-to-date total of 33,510 homes is well below the 41,835 for 2006 year to date and 68,235 sales for 2005 year to date.

Now I don’t want to be too hard on Jay Butler. After all, he supplies folks like me with the content needed to show how REAL this situation is to those who are living in the houses they can’t sell, and to those facing loans that they won’t be able to afford come that next refinance. But let’s be honest, when summer is the HOTTEST season for real estate, the fact that sales are DECLINING, does not bring any sort of stability.

As our friend Twist points out over at HousingDoom.com:

“Stable” in most circles indicates a market showing very little change. I find the word “declining” to be more appropriate. For those who don’t want to bother whipping out your calculators, there was a 29% drop year-over-year, and a 12% drop month-to-month. While Butler calls July’s 4,330 homes sold figure “close to June’s,” this is the first double-digit MOM drop since September 2006.

Jay Butler goes on to point out that the median home price has gone up from $264,900 to a whopping $265,000. Now while many of you are jumping for joy over that one hundred dollars, it may be prudent to mention that median home pricing is almost a useless metric at the moment. Builders are inflating home prices by not showing the true discount of their incentives. These incentives may knock $30,000 off the price of the home, but the true sale price reported will not reflect that $30,000, which keeps the median price inflated as a result.

What we should be looking at, is appreciation, which has remained below the rate of inflation since mid-2006. Appreciation, of course, being one of the main factors in the Renting vs Buying decision.

But don’t worry, as Jay Butler points out:

The general expectation is that the 2007 resale housing market should be a good year, but nowhere near the records.

And he’s completely right. After all, I’d call one of the largest inventories EVER and the complete inability to sell your house at the moment, definitely qualifies as a good year in resale.

Oh my, there’s that sarcasm again. Forgive me :)

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