Existing Home Sales Up 9.4% in September, Says NAR

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Existing-home sales bounced back strongly in September with first-time buyers driving much of the activity, marking five gains in the past six months, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales - including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops - jumped 9.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units in September from a level of 5.10 million in August, and are 9.2 percent higher than the 5.10 million-unit pace in September 2008. Sales activity is at the highest level in over two years, since it hit 5.73 million in July 2007.

[RIGHT]Lawrence Yun[/RIGHT]

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said favorable conditions matched with a tax credit are boosting home sales. “Much of the momentum is from people responding to the first-time buyer tax credit, which is freeing many sellers to make a trade and buy another home,” he said. “We are hopeful the tax credit will be extended and possibly expanded to more buyers, at least through the middle of next year, because the rising sales momentum needs to continue for a few additional quarters until we reach a point of a self-sustaining recovery.”

Even with the improvement, Yun said the market is underperforming. “Despite spectacular gains in the stock market, principally from the financial sector recovery, most of the 75 million home owning families have more wealth tied to their homes. Home values could soon turn consistently positive and help the broad base of middle-class families, but we are not there yet,” he said. “We’re getting early indications of price stabilization, but we need a steady supply of qualified buyers to meaningfully bring inventories down and return us to a period of normal, steady price growth and to fully remove consumer fears, which would then revive the broader economy. Without a firm foundation for middle-class wealth recovery, the post-recession economic growth likely will be one of the weakest in U.S. history.”

Early information from a large annual consumer study to be released November 13, the 2009 National Association of Realtor Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, shows that first-time home buyers accounted for more than 45 percent of home sales during the past year. A separate practitioner survey shows that distressed homes accounted for 29 percent of transactions in September.

Charles McMillan

NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said affordability conditions remain historically high. “Potential first-time buyers can take heart in that affordability conditions this year are the highest on record dating back to 1970, but with the first-time buyer tax credit scheduled to expire at the end of next month, people could hold back from entering the market,” he said.

“Our read is that housing overshot on the downside because homes are selling for less than replacement construction costs in much of the country, and the home price-to-income ratio has fallen below the historical average,” McMillan said.

Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 7.5 percent to 3.63 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 7.8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 9.3-month supply in August. Unsold inventory totals are 15.0 percent below a year ago.

“The current housing supply is the lowest we’ve seen in two and a half years,” Yun said. “If we could continue to absorb inventory at this pace, home prices would return to normal, modest appreciation patterns next year.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5.06 percent in September from 5.19 percent in August; the rate was 6.04 percent in September 2008.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $174,900 in September, which is 8.5 percent lower than September 2008. Distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes in the same area.

Single-family home sales rose 9.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million in September from a pace of 4.47 million in August, and are 7.7 percent above the 4.54 million-unit level in September 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $174,900 in September, which is 8.1 percent below a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales jumped 9.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 680,000 units in September from 620,000 in August, and are 9.7 percent above the 561,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price was $175,100 in September, down 11.7 percent from September 2008.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 4.4 percent to an annual level of 950,000 in September, and are 11.8 percent higher than September 2008. The median price in the Northeast was $234,700, down 7.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest jumped 9.6 percent in September to a pace of 1.25 million and are 7.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $147,600, which is 1.0 percent below September 2008.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 9.0 percent to an annual level of 2.06 million in September and are 10.8 percent higher than September 2008. The median price in the South was $153,500, down 7.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West surged 13.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.30 million in September and are 5.7 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $219,000, which is 15.0 percent below September 2008.

The National Association of Realtors, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

looks like were all saved

And there are almost 3 million more foreclosures in the pipeline, each needing at least 1 inspection.

What is 3 million divided by 15,000 home inspectors?

On CBS the other night, they stated that there are 7 forclosures in this country every second; 10,000 per day; 947,000 in the last 12 months. I simply do not understand how the stock market is hovering at 10,000 when unemployment in the 18 to 24 year old segment is at 19%. Something is wrong here, and I think we are going to find out in the next few weeks. The media is so fake, that I feel that the economy will crash, and may never return. I think we should all start charging a premium/extra fee for foreclosures; most are POS. I have also heard that the stock market is changing their list of companies almost daily. They eleminate the ones that lose, and add the companies who are gaining in value. They are doing what everyone else is doing; manipulation is rampant.

This week alone i have done 5 foreclosures, 3 where about 2years old 2 where never lived in .
the 2 new ones where 250 to 300 k homes

CBS needs to work on their math, that would be over 600,000 foreclosures a day and 200 million a year.

The banks are definitely holding onto a TON of properties to help drive prices up, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But unless they continue to slowly release these properties for years, there’s going to be a problem. There are hundreds of abandoned homes within a mile of me that haven’t been for sale in over a year. They’re just being sit on.

August and September was good for me but October sucks.

And then there are the commercial property bankruptcies waiting in the wings. Apparently in $$ terms these will dwarf the problems we have already seen. " Fasten your seat belts it’s going to be a bumpy ride."

Yeah, I questioned that also, but there are many forclosures out there. I also heard that banks are hiring “secondary real estate” brokers to handle sales. Some of these companies are not under any real estate association rules or regs. So, they sell them as is, no matter what; no inspections of any kind. Perhaps Nick needs to market to some lenders and banks.

Because the smart money is spending (buying stocks, gold, whatever). Dumb money is saving. Their fiat (paper) money will be worth less and maybe even worthless with all the printing Obama is doing.

My advice: Take all your savings and ever penny you can borrow and invest in hard assets. There are 3 investments that I like:

  1. Invest in your business (for most inspectors this means spend money marketing).
  2. Buy raw land (any lot will work, they are super cheap right now).
  3. Gold (but only physical gold like coins or bars. Don’t buy gold stocks).

The longer these foreclosures sit vacant the more important it becomes to have them inspected. There should be roughly 200 new foreclosures coming down the pike this year for every home inspector in N. America.

You should add this to your post.



My grandpa used to be a farmer. He said if you want to be rich, buy land. There is only so much land. You can print all the dollars and stocks you want. Tangibles are good. I understand why he had so many guns and tools laying around.

Uh, the so called

are idiots. They regularly recommend silly sucker strategies such as dollar cost averaging. Did they correctly and publicly predict the bottom of the stock market? I know someone who nailed it :wink: : http://www.nachi.org/forum/f13/say-yesterday-bottom-dow-goes-upwards-here-38014/


Will the DOW be below 10,000 next year?


Good luck.