South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

Existing Home Sales Rise To 4.47 Million

Existing Home SalesHome resales climbed 2% last month as the housing market continues its measured, steady recovery.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, Existing Home Sales rose to 4.47 million units in July on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis.

An “existing home” is a home that cannot be classified as new construction and, despite a reduction in the national homes inventory, the number of previously-occupied homes sold in July was higher by 10% as compared to one year ago.

The Existing Home Sales also reported the folliowing :

  • First-time buyers accounted for 34% of all purchasers, the same as in June
    • Real estate investors accounted for 16% of all purchasers, down from 19% in June
    • Cash buyers accounted for 27% of all purchasers, down from 29% in June

    In addition, the real estate trafde group reports that distressed sales accounted for a smaller percentage of the overall home resale market in July. Just 24% of home resales were for homes in various forms of foreclosure or short sale.

    This is down one percent from June, and five percent from July 2011.

    It also marks the smallest percentage of homes sold in “distressed” status since the trade group began to track such data 4 years ago.

    Lastly, nationwide, the supply of homes for sale dropped to 6.5 months. At the current pace of sales, therefore, the complete U.S. home resale inventory would be sold by the end of Q1 2013.

    There are now 2.40 million homes for sale — a 24% reduction from July 2011.

    For today’s South Orange County home buyers, the July Existing Home Sales report reinforces the notion that housing has been in recovery. Traditionally, however, the market – in this area, anyway – starts to slow down a bit, as we start to head into the fall season. If things play out that way, the next 5 months may become better for buyers, than they’ve been, as there might be fewer buyers to compete against, making sellers a tad more anxious, and therefore more negotiable

    With home inventory low and mortgage rates the same, a slowing fall home resale market will probably look ripe for better deals – for buyers. For anyone who’s been on the fence, looking for an optimal buying moment, the time between now and the middle of January 2013, just might be that time.

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