Thanks to the homebuyer credit, September existing home sales jumped to highest level since July 2007, and are up both 9.4% over August of this year and 9.2% over September of last year.
Problem is, as the National Asssociation of Realtors makes clear, it’s hard to read much from this in terms of what’s happening with the U.S. economy since the first-time buyer credit is boosting the results.
NAR: “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.”
Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 7.5 per cent to 3.63 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 7.8-month supply2 at the current sales pace, down from an 9.3-month supply in August. Unsold inventory totals are 15.0 per cent 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.