August- Existing Home Sales Surge

Existing home sales increased in August despite tightened credit and issues with low appraisals problems.Total existing-home sales rose 7.7% to seasonally adjusted average of 5.03 million, which is up from July’s 4.67 million and 18.6% higher than August of 2010.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the uptick can be attributed to favorable affordability conditions, rising rents and “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties.

Investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity and FIrst-time homebuyers purchased 32% of home in August. All cash sales accounted for 29% which was unchanged from July.

Why is the market taking so long to get back on track?

The biggest factors keeping home sales from a healthy recover are mortgages being denied to creditworthy buyers, and lower appraised valuations. This leads to “contract failures, or cancellations because of declined mortgage applications. 18% of NAR members reported contract cancellations which is up from 16% in July and 9% in August 2010.

Median existing single-family homes price was 168,400 in August, which is 5.4% below a year ago. In the South, existing-home sales increased 5.4%, which is 16.9% higher than a year ago and the median sales price ONLY went down .8% below August 2010.

It is a great sign to see the year to year median price slowly narrowing the gap from the years past sales. In my opinion, depending on shadow inventories and the economy, we should start seeing a smaller gap in existing median homes sales prices over the next year or two. This would be great news for existing home owners too see their largest investment stop losing value month after month and yearly drop in values since 2007.

“Until Next Time”