Thursday, July 30, 2009

Home Sales Up 10

That's right, nationwide there have been 10 home sales this year. Which brings me to this interesting fact:

According to recent figures, there are currently 18.7 million vacant homes in the United States. If you assume four people per household, that's enough empty houses to accommodate the entire populations of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and Norway.

A more personal fact for you though: not a single condo sold in my complex in June. I haven't seen the July numbers yet, but in the 4 years I've lived here I've never seen a month go buy without a single sale. It's not for a lack of available units, there were 20 on the market in June. And yet owners are still too stubborn to drop their prices.

I know that home sales, and unemployment for that matter, are lagging indicators and don't start to rise until after the economy turns around, so this is not necessarily indicative of the state of the economy, but it certainly isn't good news. The stock market seems to be slowly but steadily rebounding, but I still think that we've got a long road ahead of us. If an $8k tax credit isn't spurring home buyers, then I think it's still going to get worse before it gets better. I think it could be over a year before home sales start coming back. And I don't have any evidence to support this, but I feel that the run up in prices in this area really overvalued property to such an extent that even as much as it has dropped, it still is too high in comparison with median income. All that being said though, I'd still like to take advantage of the tax credit and buy a place before the year is up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the right deal will present itself.
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