Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Northampton County's Deed Transfers Drop 50% Over Five Years

Relying on realtors for news about the housing industry is kinda' like letting the foxes tell you how many chickens are in the hen house. But amazingly, news organizations routinely accept these housing industry reports as gospel.

Last week, The Morning Call dutifully reported that LV home sales have skyrocketed over the last month. It relies on a monthly report prepared by Prudential Patt, White Real Estate, whose business is to create a buzz about local homes. "There were 544 homes sold in October in Lehigh and Northampton counties, up 19.6 percent from the same month a year ago."

Sounds very exciting, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's complete baloney.

I checked Northampton County's October deed transfers. In October, they actually dropped 11% over the same period last year. In fact, deed transfers have consistently declined in each of the past five years. Over that five-year period, transfers have dropped nearly 50%.

Here's the raw data: October '05 - 975 deed transfers; October '06 - 844 deed transfers; October '07 - 700 deed transfers; October '08 - 561 deed transfers; and October '09 - 498 deed transfers.

The housing industry is actually at a five year low.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well the first four years of the Stoffa Administration have been a true disaster. I hope we can survive the next four.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see. The 5 year decline in deed transfers is due to John Stoffa. Did you know you are truly out of your mind? The hate you post is simply incredible. I usually delete your inane remarks, but will leave this one up for readers to see why I so often have to delete you. You really have a serious mental problem. It has nothing to d o with local politics. This is just personal. Get help.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Thanks for writing about this bias reporting from realtors to the press. We often have asked ourselves how accurate and honest is a sales report issued by those who have something to gain.

Anonymous said...

The MC does the same thing with economic news from a single "expert" who can't find his way out of Bethlehem. Best to rely upon multiple sources and understand the tilt toward fiction with the MC.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, all of the MSM do it. i saw accounts in the ET and Inky as well. Do Not rely on realtors for housing statistics. If they say sales are "stable," that means it's in the tank. We are in a 5 year low. This year is worst than the same period last year, and that's for the fifth year in a row. It is very easy to confirm the accuracy of these figures with a simple trip to the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

Residential mortgage foreclosure are expected to explode again in Q1 '10; with a commercial mortgage foreclosure bomb to follow. Thanks for the sanity check. The Obama administration and its loyal amen corner in the MSM are telling us things are getting better. I guess we shouldn't believe our lyin' eyes.

Brad Patt said...

Bernie,
I appreciate your comments however I think there is a strong misunderstanding. There is a big difference between “Sales” and “Deeds Recorded”. We track sales the date the ownership is transferred; the date settlement occurs. There is often a delay between this date and the date the County records the Deed. The data noted is historical and unbiased I assure you. It would be my pleasure to share all data or meet with you personally.
Please note this blurb from Bloomberg 11/24/09:
“Sales of existing U.S. homes increased 10 percent in October to the highest level since February 2007, National Association of Realtors data showed today.”
Sincerely, Brad Patt, Senior VP Prudential Patt, White Real Estate. 610-398-9889 or bradpatt@pattwhite.com

Bernie O'Hare said...

I thought about that, brad. But if there were agreements of sale in October, that would mean title searches are being ordered, and the recorder's office is still a tomb. I think the best indicator of housing growth is recorded deeds.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brad, please feel free to share your data here. I will be happy to post it separately.

Brad Patt said...

I agree deeds recorded is not a bad indicator. I think whatever you are gauging – using that measure consistently is what counts. I again assure you we do not adjust the data, simply report it.

Those reporting on “Sales” not “Deeds” are seeing a similar, strong October as our report indicates– AP today noting same NAR stat that October was up 10.1% nationally.

I sent you our October stats - feel free to utilize.

Best Brad Patt

Chris Casey said...

Which Supreme Court Justice was it that said: "There's lies, damn lies, and Statistics." was it Felix Frankfurter or Louis Brandeis?
You can interpret statistics any way you want, It still is not a pretty picture.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Many of the mainstream dailies have this 10% mortgage buyer increase story as a headline.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The MC does the same thing with economic news from a single "expert" who can't find his way out of Bethlehem. Best to rely upon multiple sources and understand the tilt toward fiction with the MC.

7:14 AM


Actually the Call uses one business statistic expert and one political arena college professor's comments
over and over and over and over and...

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Know we're not telling you anything, but what has happened with papers across the country is monopoly ownership and reduced
reporter staffing have mandated
that a story gets picked-up by all
company-owned newspapers to fill space and seem to be reporting.
This 10% story is all over the media, but is it truthful?