Existing Home Sales Fall In February 2012 0.9 Percent:
The housing market is still not back to full steam ahead. Sales of existing homes that were previously owned fell 0.9 percent in February according to a report released today by the National Association of Realtors today. The new seasonally-adjusted annual rate of home sales is 4.59 million, compared to 4.63 million in January but this number is still 8.8 percent above the prior year.
Investors Are Back
The data shows investors are out looking for good buys. Roughly 34 percent of sales that actually closed in the month were of distressed properties and foreclosures with 34 percent of sales occurring in cash. One third of signed deals never closed but the news isn’t all bad. The housing market can’t recover unless investors feel the prices are too low and create a floor/support level that will bring in new individual buyer that feel they will miss the opportunity to get in at good prices now. The summer home buying season will be important for determining whether investors have bought enough properties to keep prices from falling significantly. Data was released yesterday showing housing starts down 1.1 percent. It’s still not necessarily time to call a housing market bottom but we believe year over year results will continue to show some improvements.