Distressed homes account for 35% of sales
Data released today by the National Association of Realtors shows existing-home sales (finalized transactions) dipped nationally in February but didn’t under perform in all areas, with “modest gains in the Northeast and Midwest offset by softer sales in the South and West.”
Existing home sales slipped 0.6% nationally in February but sales are up 7.0% from February 2009. A NAR survey shows first time buyers account for 42% of purchases, 19% were investors and 29% were repeat buyers.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said widespread winter storms in February may mask underlying demand. “Some closings were simply postponed by winter storms, but buyers couldn’t get out to look at homes in some areas and that should negatively impact near-term contract activity,” he said.
The national median existing-home price was $165,100 in February, 1.8% down from February 2009 with distressed homes accounting for 35% of sales.
“It’s not a recovery at all, if this data is correct,” said HotAir.com’s Ed Morrisey. “If we’re bouncing along the bottom, we’re bouncing in one direction — down. The Obama administration rolled out an extension for its homebuyer credit last year, and it has done nothing to correct the slide in the housing market.”