Tuesday, March 24, 2009

National Sales Numbers Show Promise

Here at 94501 Real Estate we reported Alameda February Sales numbers two weeks ago and it showed that the Island's sales had remained flat year-over-year, but yesterday some very encouraging National housing news was released. Sales in the United States of previously occupied homes unexpectedly  jumped up in February by the largest amount in nearly six years.

The National Association of Realtors released Monday that sales of existing homes grew 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.72 million last month, from 4.49 million units in January.

It was the largest monthly sales jump since July 2003, with first-time buyers accounting for about half of all transactions.

The inventory glut created big opportunities as first-time buyers took advantage of deep discounts on foreclosures and other distressed properties. According to a survey by Emeryville based ZipRealty first-time home-buyer tax credit may be motivated to take some action and buy a home this spring, the survey showed Sixty-two percent of first-time buyers said that the $8,000 tax credit is giving them an incentive to buy in 2009.

Economists said sales, while still at levels not seen since 1997, may finally be coming back to life after declining sharply after the stock market plunge in autumn. Prices, however, are expected to keep falling well into the year. The ZipRealty survey also showed that of those who weren't motivated by the credit, 29% think it's not enough money to make a difference, 28% didn't think they would qualify and 24% think home prices will continue to decline.

Nationally, tens of thousands of homes remain tied up in the foreclosure process and are not yet for sale and could glut the market come this summer. Add mounting job losses many buyers are likely to stay on the sidelines.

Here in Alameda the wait and see posture seems to be the case and buyers are waiting to seewhat the future brings.

UPDATE ON WEBSTER STREET LOT: Michele Ellson got the low-down on the Farmer’s Market and its status. You can read the details in today’s post.


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