WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- In a sign that the housing slump is far from over, home resales slipped for the sixth month in a row in August as the credit squeeze forced many sales to fall through, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.
With sales of existing homes falling 4.3% to a five-year low seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.50 million in August, inventories of unsold single-family homes rose to an 18-year high.
Prices are lower in 15 of the 20 cities compared with a year ago, according to Case-Shiller. The worst declines are the Rust Belt and in the formerly boom towns along the coasts. Prices are holding up in the Pacific Northwest and in areas of the South.
Prices are down 9.7% in Detroit, 8.8% in Tampa, 7.8% in San Diego, 7.3% in Phoenix, 7.2% in Washington and 6.4% in Miami. Prices are up 6.9% in Seattle, 6% in Charlotte and 3.8% in Portland.
There are few signs of a bottom in the market. The home builders' confidence matched its lowest level ever in September. Housing starts fell to a 12-year low in August, an indication that builders are pulling back. However, foreclosures are rising, bringing even more must-sell supply on the market.