Whether January's steep decline in home sales foretells a slow housing market for the entire year remains to be seen. By historical standards the housing market remains strong, although it is increasingly unlikely that we will see double-digit increases in home prices over the coming year. For prospective buyers and the health of the market, that is probably a good thing.
Thought seasonable factors may be part of the explanation for falling prices and declining home sales, it appears that the housing sector is slowing down as we move into 2006. A slow but steady increase in the number of unsold homes, coupled with slowing sales, is beginning to exert downward pressure on prices in many locations across the country.