Archive for the ‘Existing Home Sales’ Category

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Existing Home Sales Flatten And Point To A Much Better Spring


2010
03.24

Existing Home Sales Feb 2008-Feb 2010As expected, Existing Home Sales fell in February, slipping 30,000 units versus January’s numbers. It’s the 4th straight month in which Existing Home Sales were lower, month-over-month.

An “existing” home is one that is previously owned and lived-in (i.e. not new construction).

Existing Home Sales peaked in November 2009, just as the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit was set to expire. Immediately thereafter, according to the National Association of Realtors®, monthly sales plunged 17 percent in December, then another 7 percent in January.

Comparatively, February’s dip is a modest 0.6 percent and is more in line with the pre-tax-credit Existing Home Sales trend.  The real estate market is rediscovering its normal. 

But “normal” may not last for long.

When the federal home buyer’s tax program was extended last year, the new rules stated that home buyers must be under contract for their new, respective homes on, or before, April 30, 2010 in order to claim up to $8,000 in federal money.  That deadline is approaching and many markets — Phoenix included — are experiencing a surge in buyer traffic as April 30 nears.

The Existing Home Sales data doesn’t reflect this new demand, nor the number of new contracts written. It only accounts for home closings and, in February, closings were down.

For today’s buyers, the market looks favorable. The federal tax credit is in place, mortgage rates stubbornly stick near all-time lows, and home prices are staying in check.

Existing Home Sales should gain through March and April, pressuring home prices higher. And, by the time the press reports the gains, the best deals in the city may already be gone.  Consider acting sooner rather than later.

Comments Off on Existing Home Sales Drop Again In January But Stay On The Trendline

Existing Home Sales Drop Again In January But Stay On The Trendline


2010
03.02

Existing Home Sales Jan 2009-Jan 2010The winter months have not been kind to home sales.

After plunging 17 percent in December, Existing Home Sales fell by an additional 7 percent in January, according to the National Association of Realtors®. An “existing home” is a home resold by a previous owner (i.e. not new construction).

In looking at the annualized, adjusted Existing Home Sales data, we find:

  1. Sales volume is at its lowest levels since June 2009
  2. Sales volume fell below its 12-month rolling average
  3. Home supplies are at a 5-month high

These are similar findings to the New Home Sales data issued by the government last week.  That report put new home sales at a 40-year low and showed new homes supplies higher by an entire month.

But don’t think housing rebound has halted! Home sales are cyclical and there are outside forces on today’s market.

For one, the market is still feeling the after-effects of the original First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. Sales spiked in the months leading up to the original November 2009 expiration date. A pull-back is natural and expected.

Looking at the long-term trend, Existing Home Sales volume appears right in line.

Furthermore, weather across much of the U.S. was awful in January. That, too, can impede home sales as homes are neither shown nor negotiated when weather is majorly inclement.

Anecdotal evidence is showing sales activity higher through February and into March. And, although it’s unlikely we’ll see a spike through April like we did last November, buy-side demand for homes should remain strong. The good news of the sagging sales reports is that today’s buyers may find home prices are lower and sellers are more willing to negotiate.

Comments Off on Existing Home Sales Plummet In December, But It Was Expected

Existing Home Sales Plummet In December, But It Was Expected


2010
01.26

Existing Home Sales Dec 2008-Dec 2009Just one month after from blowing away Wall Street, December’s Existing Home Sales hit the skids, shedding nearly 17 percent and falling to a 4-month low.

Don’t be alarmed, though. The plunge was expected. And not just because Pending Home Sales cratered last month.

When November’s Existing Home Sales surged, it was clear to observers that an expiring $8,000 federal tax credit was the catalyst. At the time, the tax program was slated to expire November 30 and the looming deadline pushed a lot of would-be buyers in Scottsdale from a December time frame into November.

The expiration date has a cannibalizing effect on December’s sales figures. It was only later that Congress extended the tax credit to June 30, 2010.

So, with home sales plunging in December, it’s no surprise that home supplies rose for the first time in 9 months.  Home Supply is calculating by dividing the number of homes for sale by the current sales pace.

The national housing supply now rests at 7.2 months.

Despite December’s Existing Home Sales report appearing shaky, it’s actually terrific new for home buyers.

See, for the past few months, as housing has been improving, sellers nationwide have been bombarded by messages of “hot markets” and rising home prices by the media.  Psychologically, a seller is more likely to hold firm on price if he believes the housing market is improving and now December’s data is deflating that argument.

This is why we say there’s always two sides to a housing story — the buyers’ side and the sellers’ side. And, usually, what’s good for one party is bad for the other. It’s what we’re seeing now.

Because of soft data like December’s Existing Home Sales, buyers may retake some negotiation leverage that’s been lost since Spring 2009, helping to improve home affordability and, perhaps, spur more sales.

Mark Taylor

Arizona Mortgage