Housing Data Tells a Confusing Story – It Doesn’t Add Up

If you tabulate multiple data sources, housing data tells a confusing story that doesn’t add up.  According to Michael Feder, CEO of Radar Logic, a data and analytics company that produces the RPX value for housing markets in the United States, recently released market data isn’t adding up.

Multiple sources have shared housing market data over the past few weeks, and Feder claims much of it is contradictory. First up, the National Association of Home Builders released a Housing Market Index of 16 on February 15th. To put that number into perspective a 50 is neutral. Anything greater is considered positive, while anything lower is considered negative.

One day later the U.S. Census Bureau released their housing starts and permits for January. Starts were up 14 percent and permits were down 10 percent. Several days later the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for December was released showing declines across the board.

So, which is it? Feder claims that overall we are in a declining market, and that is due in part to excess inventory. To get an idea of the amount of inventory available we can look at the Housing Scorecard for January 2011, which lists approximately 3.5 million homes for sale, and 3.5 million home that are vacant.

Feder forecasts that as the springtime home buying season begins activity will increase, we’ll hear whispers of good news on the housing market front. However, he also predicts that as long as there is an excess inventory the decline will continue.

Read the full story at Aol Real Estate.