An article published today, on the National Association of Realtors’ website, seems to confirm the market assessment brought to light in comments by economists who attended the January 12 International Builders’ Show (see Blog post titled Trendy Tuesdays). “Existing-home sales rose sharply in December,” begins the article, “when sales increased for the fifth time in the past six months”.
NAR observers take into consideration nation-wide market fluctuations, but nation-wide movement begins locally and the increase is evident here in Lamoille County.
If you are into numbers and ratios, you will enjoy our new Thursday segment, which will focus on statistic-based observations of both the macroscopic and microscopic Real Estate environments. If numbers feel like alphabet soup to you, I invite you to take a sip nonetheless. The numbers you will find here are a lot like those colorful fund raising thermometers displayed in front of establishments to show progress. They provide our imagination with a picture, each increment taking the place of a thousand words. Let’s look at today’s picture.
“December Existing-Home Sales Jump”. This is the NAR article’s title. It sets the tone for the accompanying and revealing numbers. Though existing-home sales remained slightly below December 2009 levels, they rose 12.3 percent to 5.28 million in December 2010 from 4.70 million in November.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says, “Sales are on an uptrend. December was a good finish to 2010, when sales fluctuate more than normal.” He adds, “The pattern over the past six months is clearly showing a recovery… The December pace is near the volume we’re expecting for 2011, so the market is getting much closer to an adequate, sustainable level.”
It is suspected the recovery will continue as more Americans return to work and more take advantage of “exceptional affordability conditions”. “Historically low mortgage interest rates, stable home prices, and pent-up demand are drawing home buyers into the market,” explains NAR president Ron Phipps.
33% of December sales can be attributed to first-time homebuyers, while investors were responsible for 20% of transactions. This shows an increase of 1% for first-time homebuyers and investors in November. Between November and December 2010:
- Single-family home sales jumped 11.8 percent
- Existing condominium and co-op sales surged 16.4 percent.
- In the Northeast, existing-home sales jumped 13.0 percent
The word “jump” is a dynamic term. Jumping requires momentum, muscle tone and the ability to sustain our own weight once we land. This image seems especially fitting when discussing the ups and downs of our economy. Notice that whenever you jump to a higher level, the strain on landing is reduced.
See full article HERE.