The National Association of Realtors (NAR) today announced that national home sales activity hit an annually-adjusted 6.10 million units in October, the highest level since February 2007. The activity was driven by the now-familiar combination of the first-time home buyer tax credit and low interest rates.
NAR spokesperson Lawrence Yun said in a statement that the tax credit was a driving force. The credit’s original expiration date of November 30th spurred a flurry of activity in October as buyers raced to get in under the wire. Yun predicted that similar activity will be recorded for this month but cautioned that activity will likely drop in December:
“With such a sale spike, a measurable decline should be anticipated in December and early next year before another surge in spring and early summer.” A DC-based agent made the same prediction to UrbanTurf last week, saying she is preparing for a “crazy” spring.
NAR president Vicki Cox Golder cited the DC area specifically as one of a handful of pockets where the market is tight. “In parts of the country, especially in Southwestern states but also in Florida and suburban Washington, DC, we’ve been getting many reports of multiple bids in the lower price ranges with foreclosed properties getting absorbed quickly,” she said.
Golder’s observation squares with anecdotal evidence UrbanTurf has observed in recent months: properties under $500,000 that are priced to sell are being snapped up quickly and competitively. The primary thing tempering the local real estate market is the persistent tightness in credit, which often makes it difficult for would-be buyers to secure a mortgage.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/home_sales_hit_highest_level_in_2.5_years/1543
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