Existing Home Sales Continue Recovery

by Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc. on May 10, 2011

You may have seen the reports:  Home sales continue to rise but the average or median price is down.   “Be leery in putting to much faith in average prices,” cautioned Ken Anderson, President, Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty.   “While well priced homes continue to sell, the greatest activity has been in the lower end of the market.  Further, our current concentration of bank owned homes is now twice as much as we’ve seen in the last couple of years.  The price on bank owned homes tends to be lower due to the condition of these properties and therefore the numbers are skewed lower,” Anderson added.

In the first quarter, lower priced homes saw the best sales performance.  Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said, “The biggest sales increase has been in the lower price ranges, which are popular with investors and cash buyers,” he said. “The preponderance of sales activity at the lower end is bringing down the median price, so what we’re seeing is the result of a change in the composition of home sales.  The rising sales trend in nearly all states is a part of the healing process to clear off inventory. Sales need to rise before prices can firm up,” Yun added.

The good news is that we continue to see increased buyer interest in our local market.  And, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing-home sales continue to recover with gains recorded in 49 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of 2011.  The NAR further reported that existing-home sales in the West jumped 13.5 percent in the first quarter to a level of 1.29 million and are 2.1 percent above a year ago.    

NAR President Ron Phipps, said strong sales of distressed homes are exactly what the market needs. “The good news is foreclosures, which account for two-thirds of all distressed homes sold, are selling very quickly,” he said. “Short sales still take far too long to get lender approval, but it appears the inventory of distressed property is peaking and will be gradually declining next year. This means the market should slowly return to balance. We are encouraged that recent home buyers are having exceptionally low default rates.”

To read more please visit the National Association of Realtors http://www.realtors.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/05/state_firstquarter

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