Remember that housing recovery that was supposed to happen this spring? Well, according to the numbers released by the National Association of Realtors, it is not going to happen very soon.
The numbers reported for February, 2011 were rough to say the least. Experts were predicting a drop of 4 percent however we saw the number plummet 9.6 percent. This is the lowest number of homes sold in 9 years. The inventory of homes for sale jumped to 8.6 months.
Overall, the numbers are even rougher to the experts than they appear. The reason why, interest rates. The Federal government is doing everything it can to keep interest rates low including having the Federal Reserve buying up the debt they accumulate. This can only go on so long and then we will see a big bump of interest rates. When that bump hits housing costs will skyrocket removing even more people from the marketplace.
This was the window the economists and the government was expecting housing to improve and help pick up the economy. It looks that that is not going to happen in the near future.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday sales fell 9.6 percent month over month to an annual rate of 4.88 million units, snapping three straight months of gains.
The percentage decline was the largest since July.
The median home price dropped 5.2 percent in February from a year earlier to $156,100, the lowest since April 2002.
“If the price declines persist, even with the job market recovery, that could hamper recovery in the housing market,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
Compared with February last year, sales were down 2.8 percent.
Oversupply of homes and a relentless wave of foreclosures are pressuring prices, holding back recovery in the sector, whose collapse helped to tip the U.S. economy into its worst recession since the 1930s. Foreclosures and short sales, which typically occur below market value, accounted for 39 percent of transactions in February, up from 37 percent the prior month. All-cash purchases made up a record 33 percent of transactions in February.