Housing Sales Plunge In March

Oversupply and tightened lending hit hard in already-weak market
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 25, 2007 12:15 PM CDT
For Sale Signs Multiply With Weakening Housing Market   (Getty Images (by Event))

(Newser) – Sales of previously occupied homes fell 8.4 percent in March, marking the biggest monthly drop since 1989 and ending hopes for a spring rebound. The new National Association of Realtors numbers reflect an oversupply of homes, lenders subdued by the sub-prime crisis, and bad winter weather, the Wall Street Journal speculates.

Even once-hot markets like Miami-Dade now have two years of housing stock languishing, as lenders eliminate options like no-money-down loans. The tougher standards are "really starting to bite," says a Monarch Beach, Calif., real estate agent. A few markets, though, have escaped the downturn: Prices rose in Seattle, Portland, and Dallas, the New York Times reports.