Existing home sales increased 10 percent in September according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said a report by Forbes.com. There were 4.53 million existing home sales last month, up 10 percent from the 4.12 million sales in August. Sales were 19.1 percent lower than September 2009, however, with 5.6 million existing home sales.
“This is the biggest monthly gain in 28 years, even though we should be closer to 5 million given the rate of population growth,” said NAR spokesman Water Molony in the report.
The median price of homes sold in September was $171,000, down 3.3% from August, and 2.4% from 2009. The NAR’s measure of home prices hit a peak of $183,000 in June, but prices have continued to drop each month since then.
The recent issues over foreclosure paperwork processes could have a major effect on home prices and inventories in the coming months. Many lenders have voluntarily halted foreclosure while issues are worked out, but a federally mandated foreclosure moratorium has the potential to cause a major disruption in the housing market, according to the report. Home prices would rise temporarily as foreclosed homes, which would probably sell for lower prices, were held off the market. Prices would drop after these cheaper homes were put back on the market.
Additionally, the issues over foreclosure have made many potential homebuyers wary. “Foreclosures have been coming in at a steady pace, and they get sold off quickly, but a recent survey we conducted showed that 23 percent of realtors had clients that didn’t want foreclosed homes because of fears concerning the process,” said Molony.