The Wall Street Journal used a lot of ink this morning on September’s Existing Home Sales data, including the chart below. It’s frightening to the lay person who may not know how to interpret data like this.
Remember: real estate is local.
Yes, on a national level the number of homes for sale in increasing and the housing market is showing weakness, but on a local level, the story is always different.
And, despite chunking the national data into 28 “Major Markets”, the figures below still can’t be considered “local”. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale market, for example, is a 31.6 mile tract of land.
Real estate markets vary by neighborhood and even by street. It’s why one zip code may be hot, and a neighboring zip code may be flat. It’s also why we should ignore national real estate price patterns and focus on the local trend instead.