According to the National Real Estate Association (NAR), existing-home sales rose 7.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million in August from an upwardly revised 4.67 million in July. The increase came even as overly tight credit, appraisal issues, and Hurricane Irene hampered markets. “Some of the improvement might result from sales that were delayed in preceding months, but favorable affordability conditions and rising rents are underlying motivations,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says. “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties. In additional to bargain hunting, some investors are in the market to hedge against higher inflation.” Source: National Association of Realtors.
Additionally, certain areas of the country such as California, Arizona, and others are currently experiencing real estate markets that are robust and thriving, despite difficulties in some other locales. As an example, see these two reports from Phoenix and North Carolina by RealTrends:
N.C. Existing Home Sales Continue to Post Double Digit Growth
North Carolina existing home sales posted double digit growth for the second consecutive month in August with a 21 percent increase in units sold. Existing home sales have not been this high since May 2010. According to statistics compiled by the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, total units sold for the month were 7,878 and total dollar sales were $1,572,790,747. The average existing home sales price declined 4 percent to $199,643.
Phoenix Homes Hit Highest August Level in Five Years
Phoenix-area home sales hit their highest August level in five years, recording 9,657 closings in the combined Maricopa-Pinal counties. That is up 8.1% from July and 35.8% from last year. Las Vegas experienced a similar trend last month, with sales jumping to a five-year high.