As the summer moves to fall and the temperatures begin to drop, the local real estate market is not quite ready to cool down. We are still seeing increased activity compared to the recent downturn over the last year.
July and August have brought over 22 million dollars worth of property sales, with 37 million dollars worth of properties under contract. As you can see in the review of the July and first half of August sold listings in our area, and the properties that are currently under contract as of August 26, 2009, this summer has exceeded expectations and previous sales for this time last year.
Buyer Hesitation is Dissolving... After years of concern over the direction of home prices, buyers are returning to the market.
After four years of declines, home sales on a national basis finally appear to be turning around. Closed sales, which have risen three straight months, and pending contracts, up for five straight months, are at levels above normal spring and summer increases.
First-time buyers in particular have stepped up to take advantage of deeply discounted prices, low mortgage rates, and the buyer tax credit. In a few markets, the rebound has been quite heated, with sales doubling from year-ago levels. In some cases there's even multiple bidding—though mostly over foreclosed and other distressed properties. Nonetheless, it's clear that buyers are returning.
Strong Gain in Existing-Home Sales Maintains Uptrend...
For the first time in five years, existing-home sales have increased for four months in a row, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million units in July from a level of 4.89 million in June, and are 5.0 percent above the 4.99 million-unit pace in July 2008. The last time sales rose for four consecutive months was in June 2004, and the last time sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005.