Pending home sales improve

Home sales showed signs of life in February.  I am sure that the looming deadline for the federal housing tax credit is having an impact on the real estate market as buyers take advantage of free money to move. If you are able to be under contract by 4/30 and close by 6/29, then go for it. If you are not able to meet those deadlines then don’t panic! The market is not shooting back up and there will continue to be strong buys for you in the near future.

When the federal housing tax credit ends, we will likely settle into a more steady pattern of recovery. Mortgage rates may move slightly higher as the the fed stops buying mortgage backed securities, also but the key here is slightly higher.  Leading economists project somewhere around 5.5 to 5.75% later this year. Those are outstanding rates!!!

The reason I feel the market will not shoot up quickly is the apparent weak job market. The  most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that layoffs have slowed but hiring hasn’t really picked up yet.

Over the 12 months ending in February, hires totaled 48.3 million and
separations totaled 51.5 million, yielding a net employment loss of
3.2 million.

The report states there were 3.961 million hires in February and 3.957 million total separations (layoffs, etc…), a net of only 4,000 new jobs.

The real estate market, like the job market are lagging indicators. My philosophy is that we will see increased stabilization in the real estate market as hiring begins.