Friday, 02 July 2010 14:15

Sales 'Fell Off a Cliff'!

Pending home sales 'fell off a cliff' It was expected, but not this bad. Experts did suggest that home sales would drop once the homebuyer tax credit lapsed at the end of April, but no one expected it to be close to a shocking decrease. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales fell a whopping 30% in May. Their index, which measures signed sales contracts but not closed sales, plunged to 77.6 from 110.9 in April. It's even off 15.9% from a year ago when the nation was barely emerging from the recession. "The pending home sales report is a disaster," said Mike Larson, a real estate analyst for Weiss Research. "Sales fell off a cliff after the tax credit expired. It's the biggest monthly decline ever and the index is at its lowest level since NAR began tracking it in 2001."

Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist downplayed the damage a bit. According to him, customers rushed into deals to claim the credit, borrowing from May sales. Once the economic recovery comes into full swing, housing markets will heat up. Those conditions include much lower home prices and extremely favorable mortgage interest rates. The question is when -- or if -- the job market will ever bounce back. "We're not creating jobs," said Larson. "The housing problems now are being driven by broad economic problems.

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Sunday, 24 October 2010 14:23

California - Home Sales Down 17%

California new and existing home sales totaled 33,176 in September, down 17.5% from a year ago and 3.1% from the previous month, according to the San Diego-based real estate provider DataQuick. Despite record low mortgage rates, the entire housing market is still waiting for new demand to replace the boost from the homebuyer tax credit that expired in April. While transactions are down, prices are still up for the 11th month in a row, following more than two years of straight declines. The median price on a California home was $265,000, a 5.6% increase from last year and a 1.9% bump from the previous month. The trough came in April 2009 at $221,000. The peak was $484,000 in early 2007. Of the existing home sales completed in September, 35.8% were properties that had been foreclosed on in the last year, down from 41.7% a year ago and flat from the previous month. Foreclosure accounted for more than 58% of the market in February 2009, the all-time high. Homeowners made an average $1,055 monthly payment in September, down more than 60% from the peak in June 2006.

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