It’s true; January sales are rising for the 3rd consecutive month, meaning that the uptrend for existing-home sales is continuing. The numbers are now at a pace above what they were a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This was the first time in seven months that the sales were up from the previous year’s level.
It’s believed that the improvement is good but it could be better. The trend is consistent with the improvements in the economy and the increased number of jobs, “but buyers have been constrained by unnecessarily tight credit. As a result, there are abnormally high levels of all-cash purchases, along with rising investor activity,” according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
|January 2010||December 2010||January 2011|
|Seasonally adjusted annual rate||5.09 Million||5.22 Million||5.36 Million|
|First-time buyers||40% (extended tax credit in place)||33%||29%|
|30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage||5.03||4.71||4.76|
|Single-family Home sales||4.47 Million||4.58 Million||4.69 Million|
|Condominium and Co-op Sales annual rate||621,000||640,000||670,000|
Existing-Home Sales by Region:
Northeast – Fell 4.6% in Jan. Median housing price – $236,500, 4% below a year ago
South – Increased 3.6% in Jan. Median housing price – $126,600, 2.1% below a year ago
West – Increased 1.8% in Jan. Median housing price – $193,200, 5.7% down from a year ago
Midwest –Increased 7.9% in Jan. Median housing price – $126,300, 3.2% below a year ago
Information taken from The National Association Of Realtors (http://www.realtor.org/)