Existing Home Sales, the clock is ticking

Sept Existing Home Sales totaled 5.57mm annualized, 220k more than expected as the window started to close on the first time home buying tax credit. Every region was up and both single family and condo’s/co-ops rose. Months supply fell to 7.8 from 9.3 to the lowest level since March ’07 and were lower in both categories. The amount of homes for sale fell to 3.63mm from 3.92mm, the lowest since Jan. Distressed sales made were 29% of the total and the median sales price was $174,900, down 8.5% y/o/y and lower by 1.4% m/o/m. The NAR said “much of the momentum is from people responding to the 1st time buyer tax credit…we are hopeful the tax credit will be extended and possibly expanded to more buyers.” They said 1st time buyers accounted for 45% of home sales during the past year. What they didn’t say is that many buyers would have bought even without the tax credit, thus making it a very expensive enticement.

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