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This morning, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced another big jump in existing home sales for last month—-not terribly surprisingly since Nov. 30 was the end of the first-time homebuyer tax credit passed earlier this year.
The NAR is now reporting that current sales have hit “the highest level since February 2007 when they hit 6.55 million.” Sales “rose 7.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.54 million units in November from 6.09 million in October, and are 44.1 percent higher than the 4.54 million-unit pace in November 2008.”
Now, sales are expected to slump a bit during the holiday season and going into 2010, but they will ramp up again for “another surge in the spring when buyers take advantage of the expanded tax credit,” according to Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist.
Buyers—-first-time buyers and current homeowners that meet certain criteria—-must go under contract by April 30 to use the second credit, creating another likely surge this Spring. (Read more about the tax credit—-and tips for using it—-here.) Yun says these upticks will stabilize “the housing sector with inventories continuing to decline.” Jim Dorsey, with IHS Global Insight, predicts that ultimately all this ebb and flow will generate 2010 sales numbers that aren’t too far off from the sales numbers from this year.
Image by TheTruthAbout, Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License