Relative to new home sales, yes.
This sales ratio was fairly stable from the early 1970's through 2006, and then the Titanic hit the berg and a flood of distressed sales kept the number of existing home sales elevated, peaking in 2011 and outpacing new home sales.
The latest mania that started up again in 2012 stoked by big money buying up bank foreclosures to rent out against negative yields maybe maturing because existing house prices in the hot markets have zoomed and so has the 10 Year T-Bond Yield making a 2.5% yield on a no risk government bond way more attractive than waiting for the possibility of a capital gain on flipping a buy, rent and hold asset that may never come. Real estate has a habit of depreciating.
New housing can now also compete on price, and sales of new houses are picking up which is pushing the ratio of Existing/New home sales down.
Bill McBride from CalculatedRisk.com on June 35, 2013 comments:
"I've been tracking inventory weekly, and it appears inventory levels are starting to increase (even after seasonal adjustment). Also I've heard reports from several real estate agents that the market has "slowed" (fewer multiple offer situations), even before mortgage rates increased.
However I don't think this will impact the ongoing recovery in residential investment (housing starts and new home sales)... The key points right now are that sales (of new housing) are increasing and will probably continue to increase for some time." Full Article Here