August 2011 Existing-Home Sales Rise Despite Headwinds

Existing-home sales increased in August, even with ongoing tight credit and appraisal problems, along with regional disruptions created by Hurricane Irene, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Monthly gains were seen in all regions.

Existing-home sales in the West jumped 18.3 percent to an annual pace of 1.23 million in August and are 20.6 percent higher than August 2010. The median price in the West was $189,400, down 13.0 percent from a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says there are some positive market fundamentals. “Some of the improvement in August may result from sales that were delayed in preceding months, but favorable affordability conditions and rising rents are underlying motivations,” he notes. “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties. In additional to bargain hunting, some investors are in the market to hedge against higher inflation.”

To read the full article from the National Association of Realtors®, CLICK HERE.


Western Region of U.S. Leads In Sales Activity

The National Association of Realtors® is reporting the Western region of the United States continues to lead the rest of the country with the highest level of real estate activity for pending sale contracts. This is good news for Oregon and Washington residents as we head into the busy Fall season. Pending home sales were up almost 14.4% across the country in July 2011 compared to the same time period a year ago.

 

Is this positive news for the real estate market and a sign of things possibly turning around?

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said “The market can easily move into a healthy expansion if mortgage underwriting standards return to normalcy. We also need to be mindful that not all sales contracts are leading to closed existing-home sales. Other market frictions need to be addressed, such as assuring that proper comparables are used in appraisal valuations, and streamlining the short sales process.”

To read the full report from the National Association of Realtors®, CLICK HERE.

 

 


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