According to the National Association of REALTORS, existing home sales increaded in February and remain in a stable range. Existing home sales rose 2.9% since January, but is still 23.8% below sales levels in February 2007.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the NAR, believes this is an encouraging sign, and that the market is stabilizing. He predicts a notable gain will be seen in the second half of 2008 as buyers take advantage of higher loan limits for both FHA and conventional programs. There is some pent-up demand, and as inventories are depleted, prices in many areas will go up.
National median existing home prices of all housing types was $195,000 in Feburary, down 8.2% from the previous year at $213,500. The median was a bit skewed downward because the slowdown is greater in high cost area, and there have been fewer sales in more expensive markets.
On a more encouraging note, half of all metro areas are showing price increases. Other areas that have seen a rapid decline in prices, are now seeing that this has drawn buyers into the market, and sales are now rising. Total housing inventory fell 3.0 percent, reducing the supply from 10.2 months to 9.6 months.