Here is some good national housing news for a change. The National Association of Realtors in their report to members featured this headline: 'August Existing-Home Sales Rise Despite Headwinds, Up Strongly from a Year Ago.'
Nationally existing home sales increased in August, despite tight credit requirements and appraisal problems. Sales in single housing: homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops rose by 7.7% as compared to last year. How does that compare with the sales closer to home?
Sales in Utah County continue to outpace last year, rising 26% for the month, compared to 2010. Sales year-to-date are up a solid 8% from last year. You have to go clear back to 2007 to find more sales than what have occurred this year in our area. Condo sales in our market are the current hot item. Sales increased by 61% in just one month.
With all this market activity, the inventory of homes for sale is diminishing, down by 18%. This should go a long way in helping to stabilize prices, which are down by 12.5% from a year ago. With all the pent-up demand, is it no wonder that homes are selling rapidly, making the inventory the lowest since January 2007?
Prices are bound to go up as the demand increases and the inventory decreases. (The old supply and demand economic theories.) What do all these statistics mean to the average home buyer or seller in our market area? This is a great time for the first-time home buyer to get out of the rental trap. Get with your lender and find out what loan programs you can qualify for. Then with a pre-approval letter in hand, you are prepared to meet with your Realtor.
Once you have established a working trust relationship, don't hesitate to sign a Buyer's Agency Agreement with your Realtor. You will have just hired someone who will work with you as a team to find the right home at the right price. Years from now, you may look back and say: 'I am so glad we bought a home when we did.'
I have a few readers who have asked me if I can address their real estate questions. Please email me with your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org I will try to answer as many as I can in future articles. Until next week, keep smiling.