July home sales: Prices, sales down
Average prices in the Baltimore metro area, which includes the city's five suburban counties, fell 3 percent to just under $320,000 in July, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems. (The average price fell in every county but rose in the city.)
Sales fell 32 percent from a year earlier -- that's the 11th month of similar declines. See the full statistics HERE.
I'll be very interested to see what happens to sales in September: That's when we'll be a full year past the point at which the credit crunch started pummeling the numbers. Right now we're still comparing to (mostly) pre-crunch times.
Speaking of credit issues, I cover a new development in today's home sales story:
Further tightening is coming: Mortgage financing giant Fannie Mae, reporting a $2.3 billion loss from April through June, said yesterday that it would raise fees and get out of the so-called "Alt-A" loan business entirely.
Fannie Mae, which buys many of the loans borrowers get, said an outsized share of its losses are coming from Alt-A mortgages, supposedly less risky than the subprime loans that have driven foreclosures skyward.
"The housing market has returned to earth fast and hard," Daniel H. Mudd, president and chief executive of Fannie Mae, told analysts in a conference call yesterday.