Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Any time I can invoke Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin the Seriously Depressed Android, I do.

Those words, of course, are on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a book especially relevant to someone (Arthur) whose home had just been demolished – the entire Earth, actually – to make way for an intergalactic highway. Things are never as bad as they seem.

And they aren't! NAR has just released info to the effect that March existing home sales were down the highest level since 1989, 8.4%. Headlined on Drudge, I expect it will make The Oregonian tomorrow.

But: As I've noted before, home sales reflect contracts entered into 30-60 days prior, when most of the east coast was under a blanket of snow. So: Duh.

Which means it means exactly nothing to what's happening in the Portland Metro area. Total sales for the month here were down less than one percent; dollar volume was up. Inventory is at 3.8 months, as opposed to over 7 months nationally. As seller's expectations continue to align with those of buyers, inventory will decline even more.

Don't panic!

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