Home Sales Rise While Prices Stabilize

Mortgage and Lending with Total Mortgage Services

According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, the volume of home sales increased rather sharply during the final quarter of 2010. The third quarter showcased a sale of 4.16 million units, while the fourth quarter witnessed a 15.4 percent upsurge to 4.8 million units sold. The report suggests the drastic increase was driven by more stable home prices, based on year-over-year data.

The average sales price of homes from October through December 2010 was $170,600, which reflects a 0.2 percent increase from the same time period in 2009. The increase in home sales can also be attributed to the extensive housing inventory left in the wake of the substantial number of foreclosures since the beginning of the housing crisis. And, despite the lack of a tax credit for first-time homebuyers since the popular credit expired April 30, 2010, the new data is encouraging for overall economic recovery. Especially considering the number of home sales in the second half of 2010 was still artificially lower as a result of the first-time homebuyer tax credit that artificially bolstered home sales in the first half of the year.

Factors that reinforced the upsurge in home sales during the fourth quarter of 2010 included:

• Extremely Low Mortgage Rates

• Improved Employment Figures

• Substantial Housing Inventory

• Low Home Prices

The average price for a condominium fell 6.4 percent nationally from a year ago to $160,200, making the price stability of single-family homes during the same time that much more impressive.

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