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Monday, April 03, 2006

At last, the truth...

A nice interview in this morning's Republic with Doug Fulton of Fulton Homes. Fulton scouts out and shoots down The Mole:
Question: How do you see the market now?

Answer: This is just a small correction that needed to happen. The velocity (of sales), the appreciation of the homes, was not sustainable. Last year was a complete anomaly. It's not normal. You can't compare last year to anything. When people say, "Gee, last February there were 4,600 houses on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and this March, there's 36,000," you're just comparing apples and oranges. It's a different marketplace. Completely.

Q: Isn't that how you typically compare, looking at last year?

A: Go to '04. Go to '03. You'll see that there were 30,000-plus in the same time frame.
Fulton also points out that builders were lying in 2004 when they named their reasons, dutifully transcribed by the Republic, for excluding investors from new home subdivisions:
Q: Why is that? Supposedly, the home builders weeded out all the investors.

A: Not until probably August, September of '05. We started doing it because we saw what happened in Las Vegas in the investor market, which was people closing on their homes and competing with the still-open model home complex and undercutting you by $10,000 and still making tons of money. . . . We were creating our own feeding frenzy. People were standing in line because of the increases. If you slowed down your increases, it slowed down sales. Tell me that isn't scary. . . . The key wasn't so much the overall price as much as the increasing price. . . . Some people thought the price increases would never stop.

posted by Greg Swann | 6:53 AM  


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