Three of four regions show increase in unit sales
September housing sales showed evidence that the long-awaited floor in housing unit sales has been reached. Unit sales were up 4.9 percent in September 2009 over September 2008 with 3 out of 4 regions showing the best results in year over year comparisons in 4 years. The Northeast had the strongest results with unit sales climbing 9.4 percent over September 2008; the western region continued its run of positive results with unit sales up 7.2 percent and the Southern region up 6.1 percent. Only the Midwest showed year over year declines with unit sales down 3.3 percent.
On the pricing front, the Midwest showed the best results with average prices for all homes sold down 6.8 percent while the Western region continued to suffer the largest price declines with a decrease of 13.2%. Overall the average sold price for all homes was down 9.8 percent that is the best results that have been recorded in the past three years. Price declines in the Northeast were 10.9 percent and average sold prices in the South were 8.9 percent.
“September 2009 results were the best that have been recorded in nearly four years. Unit sales strength was across the board with every region showing improvement in September closings over August 2009 results and over September 2008”, said Steve Murray, editor of REAL Trends. “Unit sales have firmed up four months in row with September enjoying the best results. Price declines are measurably less than they were in the first 8 months of the year with every region showing improvement.”
“Near record low interest rates and the federal and state first time homebuyer tax credit are for the time being doing the job of assisting the housing economy. We do know from brokerage reports that September sales were significantly affected by the pending expiration of the Federal homebuyer tax credit. Should the tax credit be extended then sales in the 4th quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 should remain at current levels. It is thought, however, that should the tax credit and/or the low interest rate environment change negatively, and then housing sales will slump again. Further, the wave of additional foreclosures yet to hit the market may have a significant downward effect on housing prices.”
Housing Market Report
September 2009 August 2009
(Versus same month a year ago)
Closed Sales AVG Price Closed Sales AVG Price
+4.9% -9.8% -0.2% -12.1%
+9.4% -10.9% -1.6% -10.7%
+6.1% -8.9% -3.3% -9.5%
-3.3% -6.8% -2.0% -10.4%
+7.2% -13.2% +7.0% -18.2
Source: REAL Trends