March 2010 REAL Trends Housing Market Report

Report by REAL Trends signals impact of tax credit and low rates

IMPACT OF TAX CREDIT SHOWS IN MARCH HOMES SALES AND PRICES. UNIT SALES UP 13.0 PERCENT WHILE PRICES CONTINUE RECENT STRENGTH WITH AN INCREASE OF 8.6 PERCENT OVER MARCH OF 2009

March 2010 housing sales were up 13.0 percent over March 2009 the best month over month increase in the first quarter of 2010. At the same time, the average price of homes sold was also up 8.6% over the same month a year ago. This was also the strongest show in the first quarter of 2010. Unit sales were up in all four regions of the country. The Northeast led the surge with a 27.9 percent increase in units sold in March 2010 over March 2009. The Midwest was next with a 14.6 percent increase in units sold in March 2010 compared to March 2009.

Prices were up in every region except the South where the average price of a home sold showed no change from March 2009 to March 2010. The Northeast again led the increase with the average price of homes sold up 17.8 percent from a year ago; the West was up 9.0 percent and the Midwest showed a gain of 6.0 percent.

“The market is reacting as most expected with housing consumers starting to move quickly to take advantage of the tax credits for first time and move up home purchases,” said Steve Murray, editor of the REAL Trends Housing Market Report. “We expect that housing sales will continue to show strong increases in closed business on a year over year basis through the end of the second quarter of 2010. The deadline for contracts written is April 30 and the deadline for closing these deals is June 30, 2010. The big question among housing forecasters is what happens after June 30. While we expect the market to soften, evidence that the overall economy is improving may somewhat balance the loss of the benefit of the tax credit.”

The increase in housing sales is the seventh month in a row where housing sales for the present month were above the same month from the prior year. And price increases just hit their fourth month in a row on the same basis. We expect housing sales for the year to be above the level of 2009 in the range of 4-7 percent. Home prices will continue to strengthen for at least the next three months but may level out thereafter. The upper end of most housing markets remains soft at this time with no apparent recovery at this time.

REAL Trends Housing Market Report

March 2010 February 2010
(Versus same month a year ago)

Closed Sales AVG Price Closed Sales AVG Price

National
+13.0% +8.6% +5.2% +7.3%

Regional Report

Northeast
+27.9% +17.8% +18.8% +21.3%

South
+8.4% -0.0% +2.6% -0.4%

Midwest
+14.6% +6.0% +4.1% +2.6%

West
+10.9% +9.0% +2.8% +2.3%

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Neil D. Lyon CRB, CRS, GRI Cell: 505.660.8600 Direct: 505.954.5505

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