Headlines versus Reality, Volume Down, Median Up…again.

Headlines: “Bay Area median prices rise, but overall home sales news grim.

Reality: “As Homeowners, Volume is not Very Relevant.

For what it’s worth, we’re happy to see our little report was right on the money as far as the decline in volume at around 41%. Guess we’re not so mathematically challenged after all.

And since you might not click through to the Chronicle’s daily dish of doom, we’ll pull some quotes for you:

Amid continuing fallout from the subprime lending crisis and credit crunch, home sales for California and the nation plummeted in October, while the median price slumped, according to two reports released on Wednesday.

In California, sales volume fell 40.2 percent in October compared with a year ago, while the median price slumped 9.9 percent…

Sales in the Bay Area, which the group defines as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Solano counties, fell 41.5 percent. The median price in the region was up 8.9 percent to $810,490, compared with $744,300 a year ago. Median price is strongly affected by the composition of homes sold; in the Bay Area the median has been buoyed because a greater number of more-expensive homes have been sold. [We’ve been through the median/average thing already.]

The inventory of unsold homes rose by 1.9 percent to 4.45 million units. Analysts said the backlog was about double what it is during normal times and will probably rise further as increased mortgage defaults in coming months dump more homes on the already glutted market.

Patrick Newport, an economist at Global Insight, predicted that home sales could decline another 10 percent from the current depressed levels by mid-2008. He said that by that time, home prices will have fallen enough for sales to rebound.

Bay Area median prices rise, but overall home sales news grim [SF Gate]

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