In TV commercials, the idea is to get the point across as economically as possible. That’s why, when the theme is a thriving business, they show a graph with lines that move up (often at an angle that would worry a mountain goat). It makes for an easily grasped, direct message.
Alas, graphs showing Northeast Florida home sales never seem to show such neat, orderly trajectory—and that’s for any number of reasons. For instance, if some closings happen to be delayed by a day or two for clerical reasons, they may show as having fallen out of one month, only to show up the next. The real world is like that.
Keeping track of national home sales numbers is subject to the interventions of that same stubbornly real world, of course; so when home sales registered a slight drop in August, few seasoned analysts saw it as an emerging trend…or so it seemed.
That reading was confirmed when it turned out existing U.S. home sales notched the fastest pace of the year in September. Commentators who had been noting the August falloff picked up on the shift quickly. A few gleanings:
“…existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.17 million units, the strongest reading since September of last year.” –Reuters
“…single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million in September from 5.05 million in August. Sales are now at their highest pace of 2014”–the Realtor®
“…Sales in September were up 17% from a year earlier…in the U.S. rose…to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000…”–The Wall St. Journal
Area homeowners have been hoping that the continued level of low mortgage interest rates would spur home sales in Northeast Florida, especially now that regulators are working on relaxing tough regulations that have discouraged lenders from issuing loans to any but the most prime credit risks. Young people and others with less than stellar credit have sometimes found themselves eyeing those low rates, but frustratingly unable to take advantage of the situation. It has been a real weak point in the housing rebound, so opening up the mortgage spigots would allow many first time Northeast Florida home buyers a chance to enter the market.
In case you have a rooting interest in the Northeast Florida home sales picture either as potential buyer or seller, don’t hesitate to give me a call to discuss the outlook for this fall and winter.