Real Estate Today
December 29, 2011
“Existing Home Sales Continue to Climb in November” was the headline in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) December 21st newsletter to its members. While that is good news, the year finishes with a mixed bag of successes and problems.
Existing home sales—which include: single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—increased by 4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.42 million in November which was a 12.2% increase from the 3.94 million rate in November of 2010. It’s obvious that more people are taking advantage of the buyers’ market, as current sales rose 34% above the low point in mid-2010.
NAR goes on to say: “a genuine sustained recovery appears to be developing.” More and more people are realizing that the situation for buyers has never been better. These low interest rates won’t last forever, and the housing inventory—especially in our local area—has diminished. There is a great opportunity in the housing market for buyers who are willing to commit to home ownership.
With record low interest rates—lower than 4% in many cases and bargain home prices, a medium income family can easily afford a median-priced home. From a consumer point of view, only the local market matters to them. Our local market is doing much better than the national average. Sales are up and inventory is low. There has not been a better time to buy or to sell a home since the start of “The Great Recession.”
With the inventory of homes moving down, we are seeing prices stabilizing. In many cases they have started to go up. And in some cases we are seeing multiple offers on the same home. There are fewer short sales and foreclosures than we have seen for quite some time. Nationally, first time home buyers accounted for 35% of the sales, investors 19%, and the remaining percentage to previous home owners.
If you wish to be in a new home during the year 2012, you won’t find a better time to be looking than during the slow winter months. Sellers who need to sell, and are actively trying to sell are more anxious to show and negotiate during this time of the year. Realtors are willing and happy to help you find that “dream home.” Until next week, keep smiling. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.