Homebuyers Tax Credit Help Home Sales Surge

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a nearly 10% increase in existing home sales from August to September 2009. While favorable buying conditions helped to elevate sales …

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a nearly 10% increase in existing home sales from August to September 2009. While favorable buying conditions helped to elevate sales activity to its highest level since July 2007, NAR’s chief economist warned that long-term recovery will require further price stabilization and more buyers in the market. See the following article from HousingWire for more on this.

US existing home sales increased nearly 10% from August to September, and sales activity is at its highest level since July 2007, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said.

September marks the fifth month to post a month-over-month gain out of the last six months, NAR said. September’s 9.4% increase brings existing sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57m units, up from 5.1m in August. September 2009’s rate is 9.2% higher than the same month a year ago. July 2007’s rate was 5.73m.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the increase in market movement is due to low prices and mortgage rates and a surge in first-time homebuyers.

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“Much of the momentum is from people responding to the first-time buyer tax credit, which is freeing many sellers to make a trade and buy another home,” he said.

But Yun warned, the market is still underperforming, and while there are indications of price stabilization, there is a need for more buyers in the market.

NAR said the total housing inventory at the end of September fell 7.5% to 3.63m existing homes available for sale, representing an 7.8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 9.3-month supply in August. Unsold inventory totals are 15% below a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $174,900 in September, 8.5% lower than September 2008.

NAR’s measure of existing home sales includes single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

This article has been republished from HousingWire. You can also view this article at HousingWire, a mortgage and real estate news site.

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