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Latest Home Sales Data and Predictions for 2010

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

Case Shiller just released its latest report on the state of the residential estate market.  The good news is that home prices are falling more slowly.  The bad news is that that we have a little ways to go.

What the Numbers Show:

  • Through August, 2009, the price of an average home sold in the US fell approximately 13 percent, year over year, from 2008 levels.
  • Home prices have now dropped to 2003 valuation levels, wiping out 6 years of home appreciation.
  • Since the peak in 2006, average home prices are down 33 percent.

What Do the Numbers Say About the Future??

  • Prediction:  The “average” home price will likely fall more than 13 percent by year end.  Reason:  Home prices are always at their highest in the spring and summer.  Families move during this time of year and they buy the largest, most expensive properties.  As a result, Summer home sales skew the “average” price upward in the fall, but only temporarily.
  • Prediction:  Home Sales will suffer a downturn due to the expiration of the $8000 First Time Buyer’s Credit.   So far this year, 350,000 buyers have been persuaded to purchase because of this incentive.   To read more about the success of the 1st Time Home Buyers Tax Credit, CLICK HERE.

Our Crystal Ball:  The pace of the fall is slowing, but the expiration of the tax credit and the “shadow inventory” of another 1.5 Million foreclosures will continue to put downward pressure on the market in 2010.  As a result, we predict that 2010 home prices will decline 6-7 percent.  The upside is that nearly all buying risk is out of the market.  Interest rates are at historical lows.  Any increase in rates would erase the possible gain a buyer would achieve from correctly timing the exact bottom…even if the timing were perfect. 

Bottom Line:  If you plan to buy a home within the next year, now is a great time.   Chose the best home, in the best location and the one that you can easily afford.  Live and enjoy the home for at least 5 years and you will likely be patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

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