Some are positioning this as a bit of good economic news, and it is…but a bit of perspective is needed.
Not everybody is suffering right now, and if folks can buy homes at a 20 to 30% discount with historically low interest rates, why wouldn’t they? There are a lot of bargains out there right now, and just because people are going bargain shopping doesn’t mean the economy is picking back up. However, it may mean that the economy is at least bottoming out.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes increased 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.72 million last month, from 4.49 million units in January. It was the largest sales jump since July 2003. […]
Februaryâ€™s median sales price was up slightly from January, which recorded the lowest median price since September 2002. Prices are down about 28 percent from their peak in July 2006.
In contrast with the housing boom, when buyers took out ever-riskier loans and maxed out their home equity lines, â€œhomebuyers are not over stretchingâ€ said Lawrence Yun, the Realtorsâ€™ chief economist. â€œThey want to stay within their budget.â€
By summertime, sales are expected to get a lift from a $8,000 tax credit for new home buyers included in the economic stimulus package signed by President Obama last month.
Anybody else out there thinking about buying a house right now? What kinds of deals are you seeing?