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Strong Rising Sales for Existing-Home Sales Shown in December

by Pistol Tingen

 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales showed an unexpectedly strong rise while inventory declined.  Sales were led by a surge of sales in the West.

In 2008 there were 4,912,000 existing-home sales, which was 13.1 percent below the 5,652,000 transactions recorded in 2007.  These figures represent the lowest volume since 1997 when there were 4,371,000.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home prices continue to fall significantly.  "It appears some buyers are taking advantage of much lower home prices," he said.  "The higher monthly sales gain and falling inventory are steps in the right direction, but the market is still far from normal balanced conditions.  Buyers will continue to have an edge over sellers for the foreseeable future."

Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 11.7 percent to 3.68 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 11.2-month supply in November.

Yun said the market is underpeforming and hurting the broader economy.  "We've added 25 million people to our population over the past decade and housing affordability conditions are the best we've seen since 1973, but household formation is much lower than expected," he said.

The NAR chief economist added, "Consequently, there is a pent-up demand which could be unleashed with the right stimulus, including a non-repayable home buyer tax credit.  The Obama administration and Congress need to move fast to stimulate a spring sales upturn which will help stabilize home prices and set the foundation for a sustainable economic recovery."

If you would like more information on the current existing-home sales in the Pitt County and Greenville, NC area, please contact the top producing real estate experts--The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

U.S. Government to the Mortgage Rescue?

by Pistol Tingen

 

Before the weekend comes to a close, both FannieMae and FreddieMac may lose control to the United States Treasury Department.   Steven Adamske, spokesman for House Financial Services, stated, “We are waiting to see what the details are”.

Both FannieMae and FreddieMac currently buy and package mortgages for other investors, and together hold or guarantee $5 trillion in housing debt—a figure that represents nearly half of the nation’s total.  The financial health of these two mortgage giants is critical to the housing market.

FreddieMac and FannieMae  are chartered by the government but are shareholder owned—funded solely with private capital raised from investors on Wall Street and around the world. Without question, they are the nation’s main source of liquidity for home loans.  At the present time, neither mortgage company appears to be in imminent danger of failure.

The plan under consideration could place Freddie and Fannie under federal control, and could include steps to dilute common stock while sheltering the agencies from financial losses. 

Federal intervention could serve as a partial remedy to help correct the slumping housing market by easing fears about the solvency of FreddieMac and FannieMae.  Both Freddie and Fannie could then obtain funding easier, which could lead to lower interest rates on mortgages and provide a jolt to the housing market.

Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com, commented, “It’s a bold move and it certainly has big plusses.  Mortgages rates would lower and more credit would be available.  Stepping in like this will be a big shot in the arm to the stock market and bond market.  It’s a very positive step.”.

Certainly these are some changing times in the entire real estate market.  Throughout the fluid housing market of Greenville, NC – Pitt County, The Pistol Tingen Team continues to offer unwavering, professional real estate service to the community. Whether buying or selling, please contact us (252) 321-6161 for all your real estate needs.

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BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices Prime Properties,   Greenville, NC, 2625 Charles Blvd.

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