Housing: Where the Market Is Really Headed

Peter Coy

The headline on this blog item is the headline of the Business Outlook column in the current issue of BusinessWeek, by my colleague James C. Cooper (pictured).

Housing: Where the Market Is Really Headed
I think it's a judicious, well-balanced look at the slowing market. Cooper's conclusion: "The numbers point to a gradual slowdown rather than a sudden crash."

Businesspeople like to read the Business Outlook every week because Cooper makes sense of a welter of conflicting data. Here's an example: Remember the confusing report that sales of new single-family homes rose 4.6% in May? Here's what the Business Outlook says about that outlying statistic:

Government statistictians can say with 90% confidence that May's change from April was between -8.5% and 17.7%, so there is no assurance that May sales didn't actually decline. What's important is that, so far this year, the average of new home sales is down 10.9% from the average during the second half of last year.

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