People Stop Buying New Homes, Keep Watching Home Values Fall, Though

In the midst of what’s been repeatedly referred to as the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, people are questioning the sanity of home shopping right now — while at the same time becoming more obsessed with depreciating home prices.

Judging by some numbers, America’s wait-and-see stance was taking shape even before Wall Street began to crumble two weeks ago, though no doubt home buyers were already concerned by market woes. To wit, traffic for online real estate broker Redfin dropped 7.3 percent in August, according to Web analytics startup Compete.com. Meanwhile, Zillow, the popular real estate Web site that allows visitors to see the value of millions of homes across the U.S. and not just homes for sale, saw traffic jump 7.9 percent.

Neither Compete nor Alexa, which also ranks Web traffic, has posted September data yet. It’ll be very interesting to see what the numbers look like when they do.