Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 11:00am EDT | Modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 5:30pm
Lower prices and attractive mortgage rates are breathing new life into housing, with one measure of sales posting its fourth increase in the last five months reports the Washington Business Journal’s staff reporter Jeff Clabaugh.
Pending sales of existing homes, or contracts signed but not closed, rose 6.7 percent in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. April’s pending sales were up 3.2 percent from a year ago, the NAR says.
The biggest increase in April was in the Northeast, where pending sales jumped 32.6 percent from the previous month.
This is great news for our real estate market because many of the folks who have already relocated to the Charlotte area from the Northeast areas where pending sales bring promise of closure are renting and will soon be free to move forward in the purchase of their Charlotte home, added Chrystal Safari of Peters & Associates, Inc.
The NAR’s pending home sales index is a forward looking gauge, and the group cautions that it is more volatile than actual closed sales.
“The relationship between contracts on pending home sales and closings on existing home sales is taking longer than in the past for several reasons,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Mortgage processing time has increased, it is taking many months to close on those homes requiring short sales with lender approval, and some sales are falling through at the last moment.”
Still, Yun says he believes the housing market has already bottomed out in some areas.
The group last week reported closed sales of existing homes rose 2.9 percent in April.
The NAR’s housing affordability index was also at its second-highest level on record in April.
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Chrystal Safari has over 15 years experience in personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a Luxury Home Specialist and licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina. As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer. Chrystal is a member in good standing of the Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®.