In a sign that the housing market may be recovering, the National Association of Realtors’ new poll suggests improvement may be on the horizon for homebuyers and homeowners alike.
Those who would like to purchase a home may be interested to learn that the median prices, which are significantly below last year’s levels, have resulted in attractive deals in most metro areas. The association estimates existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million units in the second quarter.
"With lower home prices and a first-time buyer tax credit we’ve been seeing healthy increases in home sales, which are a hopeful sign for the economy," says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
The association furthermore cites data from Freddie Mac which say the national average commitment rate on a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5.03 percent – a record low – in the second quarter, from 5.06 percent in the first quarter.
While prospective homebuyers have a chance to take advantage of unprecedented low prices, there is also positive news for homeowners in the NAR survey. Although the median house price at $174,100 at the end of the second quarter of 2009 is 15.6 percent lower than at the end of the second quarter of 2008, it still rose 4 percent from to the first quarter of this year when it was $167,300.
In fact, NAR’s Yun explains that as home values stabilize, foreclosure pressure will ease and boost credit availability for other sectors of the economy.