In an article published yesterday, February 23, the National Association of Realtors observes, “The uptrend in existing-home sales continues, with January sales rising for the third consecutive month with a pace that is now above year-ago levels”
Regionally, existing-home sales in January rose 3.6 percent above a year ago in the Midwest, 8.0 percent higher than January 2010 in the South and 7.0 percent above January 2010 in the West. This activity contributed to the overall national increase. In the Northeast, existing-home sales actually dropped 1.2 percent below January 2010.
Existing-home sales refers to completed transactions including single-family, condominiums, town houses and co-ops.
“The uptrend in home sales is consistent with improvements in the economy and jobs, which are helping boost consumer confidence,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. Indeed, confidence seems to be the deciding factor or the underlying currency, if you will, and we might be right in assuming that, as any currency, the more it spreads the greater its impact on consumer behavior.
The Northeast may be slower at picking up jobs and consumer confidence, but the ripple effect from other states typically, inevitably, reaches our shores. Of course, several factors affect how fast and to what extent surrounding market activity affects the Northeast in general and Vermont in particular.
Selling or buying a home is a daring move in any economy, one that depends on a real need for change. Knowing how we are doing nationally and regionally certainly informs a decision to sell of buy a property, it also affects the confidence with which one enters the market.
This, more than anything, is something over which individuals have a real measure of control, for necessity or heartfelt desire attract creativity, especially in uncertain markets. Thus, a new ripple changes the whole picture.
Click HERE to read the full NAR article.