May 24, 2008

Existing-Home Sales Ease As Some Markets Rise

Restrictive lending practices, as expected, have caused home sales to ease. However, according to NAR, some markets are beginning to show signs of a turn-around.

April existing home sales declined 1.0 percent from 4.94 million homes sold in March to 4.89 million homes in April. Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac have installed a new home buyer policy designed to ease some of the restrictions, helping a buyer into a new home. The new rules mean consumers will see more affordable financing. Down payments of 3-5 percent on most mortgages and 100 percent financing on some loan products. The press release on the Fannie Mae site explains that the new policy is designed to increase liquidity by establishing a new national down payment policy will supersede the policy the company adopted in December 2007 that required higher down payments in markets where home prices are declining. If you were in the Market for a loan you might try again.

Regional Markets

The West: Existing-home sales in the West rose 6.4 percent in April to a level of 1.00 million but are 15.3 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $285,700, which is 16.7 percent lower than April 2007.

The South: Existing-home sales were unchanged from March at an annual rate of 1.92 million in April, but are 18.6 percent below April 2007. The median price in the South was $170,800, down 5.1 percent from a year ago.

The Northeast:
Existing-home sales fell 4.4 percent to an annual pace of 870,000 in April, and are 14.7 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $262,000, which is 7.7 percent below April 2007.

The Midwest: Existing-home sales were at an annual rate of 1.10 million in April, which is 6.0 below March and 19.7 percent lower than April 2007. The median price in the Midwest was $159,100, down 2.9 percent from April 2007.
Excerpted from NAR site, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Thanks for Reading
Howard Bell
A web site of over 450 articles related to real estate focused primarily on property management.

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