The National Association of REALTORS® recently released a few reports that I find interesting. First, they reported that there have been nine (9) consecutive months of gains for pending home sales, suggesting that the housing market is poised for significant gains:
The rise from a year ago is the biggest annual increase ever recorded for the index, which is at the highest level since March 2006 when it was 115.2. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales are experiencing a pendulum swing. “Keep in mind that housing had been underperforming over most of the past year. Based on the demographics of our growing population, existing-home sales should be in the range of 5.5 million to 6.0 million annually, but we were well below the 5-million mark before the home buyer tax credit stimulus,” he said. “This means the tax credit is helping unleash a pent-up demand from a large pool of financially qualified renters, much more than borrowing sales from the future."
Pending Home Sales On The Rise In Tallahassee
When we look at a graph of daily new pending home sales in the Tallahassee MLS, we see that the Tallahassee housing market is trailing the national figures by about 5 months. Our pending home sales began rising in August of this year.
National Association Of REALTORS® Forecast Improvement In 2010The second report released by the National Association of REALTORS® was a housing market forecast for 2010. With a focus on the Home Buyer Tax Credit, the forecast is for a stronger year:
In all, says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, 4.4 million Americans look to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit before it expires by the middle of next year. From the enactment in February of this year through October, NAR estimates 1.8 million households would have qualified to claim the first-time home buyer tax credit.
Now with the tax credit deadline extended till the end of June 2010 (for closings, with contracts signed by the end of April, 2010) and also available to many move-up buyers, an additional 2.6 million families would likely claim the home buyer tax credit.
Tallahassee Home Buyer Activity Increasing
Our local housing reports support the NAR housing forecast too. In the real estate graph below, daily home buyer activity has increased for the past three months and appears to have left a housing market bottom behind us.
Of course, time will tell whether any of us have polished our crystal balls, but I suspect we should be in for a much better year next year, though the number of Tallahassee home sales will still be below our historical norm. Look back here for my 2010 Housing Forecast coming up in the next few weeks. YCUZ96KF8FAA
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.