Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BIG Drop in Home Sales

A new government report shows that the number of home sales dropped nationally by almost 33% in May, the month following the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit program. This drop was greater than anticipated, and the largest drop since the government began compiling statistics in 1963.

Nationally, there is a supply of 8.5 months of inventory at the current sales rate, the government report said. The median sales price of new houses sold in May was $200,900, while the average sales price was $263,400 nationally.

On top of this, and despite the average 27% reduction in home values nationwide, new buyers are still finding homes unaffordable, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Their recent poll of over 2000 consumers found 49% of them believed it would difficult to save enough money to afford a down payment.

King County, on the other hand, saw a nice increase in both condominium and residential home sales from April to May. Single family home transactions actually increased from 1761 in April to 1844 transactions in May. Do not be surprised to see prices begin trending upwards again this summer in King County.

What we do know is that Washington state is no longer the most popular destination for families relocating, according to the 2009 U-Haul National Migration Report. Washington was #1 in 2008, with a 7 percent growth rate, but last year the rate slipped to below 2 percent.

Kentucky had the highest growth rate among larger states, followed by Florida and Georgia.

The U-Haul report ranked Houston as the top U.S. Destination City. Las Vegas moved from No. 4 to second place, followed by Chicago, San Antonio, Austin, Orlando, Atlanta, Sacramento, Kansas City and Denver.

All this news adds up to a still-sluggish summer selling season in Seattle, a continuation of the strong buyer's market for housing, and a longer time frame for economic recovery. Full of opportunity if you are looking to buy!

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