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Home Sales Tumble, Prices Near 9-Year Low

“(Reuters) – Sales of previously owned U.S. homes plunged in February and prices hit their lowest level in nearly nine years, indicating a housing market recovery was still a long way off. The National Association of Realtors said on Monday sales fell 9.6% month over month to an annual rate of 4.88 million units, snapping three straight months of gains. The % decline was the largest since July.”

San Diego Buyers- this doesn’t mean panic- this is a huge indicator that it’s a great time to buy.. Interest rates are still at a low ~4.7%, and so far this year I’ve been experiencing far less multiple offer situations than last year- which means less competition and panic to get into a home(buyer’s market San Diego). The saying always goes that we won’t know we reached the bottom until we’re out of it, but I think a lot of the signs are here that it’s happening right now.

“The housing market is still very depressed and a major drag on the economy, especially household net worth,” said Chris Christopher, a senior economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.

The Realtors’ group also said tight credit conditions and home appraisals that fell short of agreed-upon selling prices weighed on sales. In addition to the weak housing market, rising crude oil prices are a threat to the economy’s recovery and a survey on Monday showed about three-quarters of Americans were scaling back spending because of high gasoline prices.

Foreclosures and short sales, which typically occur below market value, accounted for 39% of transactions in February, the highest since April 2009, up from 37%  the prior month, the trade group said. All-cash purchases made up a record 33% of transactions in February.”

Source: Reuters

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