Existing US-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 2,6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4,86 million units in June from a pace of 4,99 million in May, and are 15,5 percent lower than the 5,75 million-unit rate in June 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
NAR President Richard Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said there is something of a quandary in the current market. “A recent online survey of Realtors® shows nearly a quarter of potential home buyers are waiting on the sidelines,” he said. “However, timing the market can be very tricky, which is why home buyers should always have a long-term view to build wealth.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said first-time home buyers are critical to the health of the housing market. “About four in 10 homes are purchased by first-time buyers, which frees existing owners to trade up,” Yun said. “With many potential first-time home buyers on the sidelines, a first-time buyer tax credit would have a significant positive impact on both housing and the economy. Combined with permanent increases to mortgage loan limits and enhancing the FHA loan program, the housing stimulus package working its way through Congress would go a long way toward helping consumers and boosting the overall economy.”