Good news: an increase in home sales in the 3rd Quarter of 2009;
Bad News: prices dropped 11.2 percent from 2008 levels

(Source: NAR)

Most states continued to experience rising existing-home sales in the third quarter, with prices moderating in many metro areas, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors®.

Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, increased 11.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 5.30 million units in the third quarter from 4.76 million units in the second quarter, and are now 5.9 percent above the 5.01 million-unit pace in the third quarter of 2008.

Sales increased from the second quarter in 45 states and the District of Columbia; 28 states and D.C. saw double-digit gains. Year-over-year sales were higher in 32 states and D.C.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the tax credit is a significant factor. “We can’t underestimate just how powerful a catalyst the first-time home buyer tax credit has been for the housing sector,” he said. “It’s given buyers the confidence they needed to get off the fence and take advantage of extremely affordable housing conditions. The buying conditions this year are the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but the tax credit is allowing buyers to set aside any reservations about waiting for a better deal.”

Read the full article “Existing-Home Sales Surge in Many States in Third Quarter, Metro Prices Moderating” in NAR (October 10, 2009)

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