US Housing News

Existing Home Sales Up in the Last Quarter

Peel-Back

Strong gains in home sales were the predominant pattern in most states during the fourth quarter, with many more metro areas seeing prices rise from a year earlier, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors.

Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, jumped 13.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.03 million in the fourth quarter from 5.29 million in the third quarter, and are 27.2 percent above the fourth quarter of 2008.

North Carolina was no exception. Existing home sales for the state increased 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter and increased a 31.4 percent over last year’s figures.

First-time homebuyer tax credit was the dominant factor. The surge in sales was driven by homebuyers responding strongly to the tax credit combined with record low mortgage interest rates. With inventory levels trending down over the past 18 months, we expect broadly balanced housing market conditions in much of the country by late spring with more areas showing higher prices.

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