Real Estate Insights – November 2009

In This Issue

“There’s Good News Tonight” The first-time home buyer tax credit, originally scheduled to expire on November 30th, has been extended – and expanded. That is indeed good news for first-time buyers, as well as repeat buyers, many of whom will be able to take advantage of the program. In his commentary this month, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun tells us that the tax credit, continuing low mortgage rates and high affordability will help lift home sales activity into next year. Read more.

New quarterly statistics on state home sales and metro area prices. The latest NAR quarterly survey of metropolitan area home prices shows that 45 states and the District of Columbia experienced increased sales from the 2nd quarter of 2009 to the 3rd quarter of the year, and 28 states and the District saw double-digit gains in resales. And while most markets experienced declines in median home prices from the third quarter of2008 to the third quarter of 2009, some markets posted significant gains. Read more.

The Great Profile: 2009 Edition. The new 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was just released, and shows that first-time buyers accounted for 47 percent of home purchasers between July of 2008 and June of 2009. That’s the largest share of first-time buyers in more than 18 years. In addition, existing-homes were more popular among buyers than reported in last year’s profile. Read more.

… and there’s more. You can get more information from the new 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. NAR members can download a copy of the full study from our web site. For details, see page 14. Read more.

Existing-home sales posted a strong rebound in September, registering a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units for the month. Resales rose 9.4 percent from October and were up 9.2 percent from their level in September of 2008. Existing-home sales activity was at its highest level in over two years. The pace of resales increased in all four regions of the country. Much of the momentum reflects buyers responding to the first-time buyer tax credit, which is freeing many sellers to make a trade and buy another home.

Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 7.5 percent to 3.63 million existing homes available for sale, a 7.8-month supply at the current sales pace. Home prices still have a ways to go – the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $174,900 in September, 8.5 percent lower than in September 2008. Distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes in the same area. Read more

Real Estate Insights | Economic Forecast and Outlook | November 2009 (PDF)

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