The National Association of Realtors reports that existing home sales have hit a 21 month high in January 2012. A total of 8% more contracts were signed by agents during that 21 month period. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says job growth and rental rates are somewhat of a cause for this recent spike. He also suggests that once credit availability becomes more regular, home sales will see a significant increase, and home prices will as well. This will in turn reduce the amount of people who are currently upside down on their mortgages.
Rising rental rates may be boosting home sales as well. With the cost or renting being so close to the cost of a monthly mortgage, many prospective tenants are being asked, or asking themselves, if they have ever considered buying to save money. Here in Florida, partly due to the attraction of warm weather and comfortable retirement options, rental prices have remained high. If rental options hold their value and mortgage rates remain at an all time low, we could definitely be in store for a boost in home sales and prices.
Clear Capital research reports that home sale prices are up in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater metro areas compared to this time last year. Not only is our immediate surrounding area seeing a price increase, but for this quarter, it is one of the highest ranking recovering cities in the U.S., only behind Pittsburg and Rochester N.Y.
Now that home prices are scooting upward and home inventory is at an eight year low, and volume of sales are up double digits, we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel getting bigger. Don’t let the time to buy pass you by..
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