There May Be Hope for the Real Estate Market Yet!

By Heather Faucher | Posted on August 13, 2009 | Filed Under Real Estate 

monopolyhousesThere may be hope for consumers who have spent months–if not years–trying to sell their homes in a housing market that has been not-so-hot for the past couple of years. According to the latest survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, existing-home sales showed healthy gains in the second quarter versus the first quarter in most states. Additionally, the decline in home prices has increased the affordability in most metro areas.

Thirty-nine states showed increased sales compared to the first quarter, and nine states had higher sales than those from a year ago; the District of Columbia enjoyed both quarterly and annual increases. According to the survey, the nation’s total existing-home sales (which includes single-family as well as condo properties) increased by 3.8 percent in the second quarter compared to the first, although it remains 2.9 percent lower than the amount of sales in the second quarter of 2008. Still, the fact that sales are once again increasing is definitely a positive sign.

“With low interest rates, lower home prices, and a first-time buyer tax credit, we’ve been seeing healthy increases in home sales, which are a hopeful sign for the economy,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “There have been sustained sales gains in Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, as well as diverse areas such as Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Nebraska. More recently, we’ve seen strong double-digit gains in Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Washington, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin, Indiana, South Dakota, and Montana.”

Yun went on to relate the housing industry’s effect on the economy at large. “Given the need for related goods and services, each home sale pumps an additional $63,000 into the economy – that’s how the housing engine traditionally pulls us out of recession. In addition, sales are drawing down inventory and that will help stabilize home values, which in turn will lessen foreclosure pressure and boost credit availability for other sectors of the economy.”

The biggest sales increases from the first to second quarters were in the following states:

1. Idaho, by 67.5 percent
2. Hawaii, by 24.2 percent
3. New York, by 22.3 percent
4. Wisconsin, by 21.7 percent
5. Nebraska, by 20.3 percent

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