The National Association of Realtors [NAR] is out with some details on second quarter existing home sales. Here is a recap:
- Sales were up 3.8% Q2 over Q1.
- Unit sales were 4.76 million units in Q2 versus 4.58 million in Q1.
- Q2 2009 is 2.9% below Q2 2008.
- Foreclosures accounted for 36% of sales.
- Median prices in Q2 versus a year ago were down 9.7% in the Northeast, down 8.6% in the Midwest, down 10.3% in the South and down 26.6% in the West.
I’d would say that you can probably glean a slowly improving market out of the numbers but one that’s being driven by sales at the low end as first time homebuyers and investors chase bargains. Hopefully, the trend morphs into a broader based recovery but at this point in time the market can’t be described as healthy. In some areas investors make up a third or more of all buyers. Sooner or later they run out of either interest or supply at prices that make sense and the market loses one of it major legs of support.