National Existing Home Sales Blow Past Expectations

Existing US Home Sales - Oct 2009The picture for Lakeland real estate – and home sellers in particular – may begin to brighten up a bit.  With another  month in the books, we’ve seen another piece of evidence that the housing market is stabilizing.

Existing Home Sales surged in October as an increasing number of US home buyers took took advantage of low mortgage rates, low list prices, and, for some, a generous tax credit.

Home resales are 23 percent higher compared to last year’s numbers, and home supply is down to 7 months nationwide.  This number is also referred to as the absorption rate – the amount of time it would take for the housing inventory on the market right now to sell.

As it is right now – the national housing inventory hasn’t been this low since February 2007.

The news shouldn’t be surprising, however.  The same real estate trade group that produces the Existing Home Sales report also publishes a monthly report meant to predict future home sales called the Pending Home Sales Index.

Pending Home Sales have been rising steadily since mid-May.

So, with pending home sales showing no signs of slowing and 80% of pendings turning into actual, closed sales, we can expect existing home sales volume to rise in the coming months, too.  Especially because Congress extended the home buyer tax credit to include (1) “Move-up” buyers and, (2) Buyers with higher household incomes.

All in all, what we’re seeing here is good news for Lakeland home sellers, who have their homes priced right.

For buyers, on the other hand, the news isn’t so great. The window to find a “deal” may be closing quickly.

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