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Economy in Brief

RICS House Prices Sag Badly
by Robert Brusca December 13, 2007

The RICs survey presents as its metric a net balance reading as surveys respond by saying house prices are higher or lower. Both series show a larger progressive trend lower that is represented by sequentially lower peaks in the various cycles and, for the most part, sequentially lower troughs as well. Beyond this longer term trend decline in this metric is the sharp plunge in both prices over the past three months and expected prices in the next three months. The price expectations series gives off useful signals at the peaks since it peaks at a lower level than the past three month series but it is usually too pessimistic at the troughs. The look-ahead series is looking for even deeper declines in the next three months than in the last three months at this time. Look for the actual data to turn more positive ahead of the expectations series. But, for the moment, both show bleak readings and both are on their respective lowest readings since 1999.

RICS: House prices and expectations for prices and sales
  Nov-07 Oct-07 Sep-07 3-Mo Avg 6-Mo Avg 12-Mo Avg Range
Prices -41 -23 -15 -26 -10 9 0.0%
Price Expectations -47 -35 -21 -34 -21 -2 0.0%
Sales expectations -8 -6 -9 -8 -5 6 2.2%
New Sales -36 -33 -28 -32 -24 -11 0.0%
Range percentile takes range back to 1999
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