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March 24, 2009

Real Estate: Home Sales UP 5.1% Nationwide

happy-house Nationally existing home sales were up 5.1 percent according to the National Association of Realtors which equals to 4.72 million homes sold.  This is the largest monthly sales increase since July 2003.

This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise since economists were anticipating another drop in sales to 4.45 million units from the 4.49 million annual rate in January.

More than 40 percent of sales nationally were of foreclosed properties or properties in default that were being sold for less than the mortgage balance and most sales were for homes at the bottom of the price ladder. The more expensive homes aren’t selling as well, and median prices continue to drop. Half of all homes sold last month went to first-time buyers.  Single family sales are selling better than condos because of differing mortgage availability.


February 2009 Existing Homes Sales Increased By:










* Sales in the West are up a sharp 30.4% over the year due to strong sales in foreclosure heavy regions of  Southern California and Las Vegas.


February 2009 Median Price

February 2008 Median Price




















Economists and real estate agents are watching carefully to see if low mortgage rates — which went below 5 percent last week — will boost sales.  An $8,000 federal tax credit aimed at first-time buyers already has brought new shoppers into the market.

New listings in the northeast region fell by nearly 10 percent in February.  This is an indicator that the flood of available homes might be drying up.  If there in fact is less inventory, then that will help rebuild the real estate market.  If there is less supply and more demand for homes then the value of real estate will start to increase again.

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