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August 2008 Home Sales Report Shows Tight Lending Hampering the Market

Thursday, September 25, 2008 posted by Tommi Crow
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With news of the financial crisis and the possible federal bailout of US lenders looming over our heads, it comes as no big surprise that August existing home sales were dismal.

 

In brief, the numbers provided by the National Association are as follows:

  • Existing home sales were down another 2.2 percent in August, bringing the drop to 9.7 percent compared to 2007 levels.
  • The average sales price of an existing home fell to $203,100 compared to $224,400 one year ago.
  • The inventory of existing homes on the market fell in August to a 10.4 month supply.   A slight uptrend from the 10.9 month supply on the market in July.

Falling inventory levels are a bit of good news among all the bad news.   But keep in mind that the slight dip in inventory is not due solely to a growing number of sales.  Cancelations, listing expirations and owners who chose to withdraw their property from the market until activity picks up, also decrease the total number of homes on the market.

The current 10.4 month supply means we are still in a buyers market.   An inventory of 5-6 months is usually a sign of a balanced market, with an equal number of buyers and sellers.

To read the report from the National Association of Realtors, click the link.

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