It’s funny. This morning I went to check the Web site of the National Association of Realtors for the latest numbers for existing home sales and they hadn’t been posted yet. Then after I finished the other two blogs just now, it magically appeared. Anyway…

Existing home sales increased 2.9 percent from April, but fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier. NAR reports that the percentage of first time home buyers who are buying was at 40 percent, which means that other buyers are now entering the market.

NAR’s chief economist called for the inventory of foreclosed homes to be sold quickly in order to stop the distortion of prices. That made me wonder if it’s really a distortion. What if this is the new normal? Or maybe distortion just makes it sound like less of an issue than it is. As if the foreclosed homes can just be bought up and suddenly the market will go back to normal. I don’t think it’s that simple, nor will it happen quickly.

The national median existing-home price was $170,200 in April and 45 percent of sales during the month were distressed properties such as foreclosures.

The number of existing homes for sale rose 8.8 percent in April, to 3.97 million units, up from March. The April inventory represented a 10.2 month supply, compared with 9.6 month supply in March.

I still say it’s a great time to be a first time home buyer.

May 27, 2009