Sales for existing homes fell in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. Existing homes fell 8.6 percent, more than 10 percent from a year ago, and inventory rose to 4.2 million units.
“We hope the home sales impact from the stock market crash turns out to be short-lived, as was the case in 1987 and 2001,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a press release. He said homebuyers need incentives to rebound the market.
“It also depends on how effectively Congress and the new administration can help facilitate the short sales process and unclog the mortgage pipeline – impediments remain for some buyers with good credit,” Yun says.
NAR President Charles McMillan says a housing stimulus plan is crucial to boost the economy.
“We need more than low interest rates to encourage enough buyers to enter the market and meaningfully draw down inventory, which would stabilize home prices – that, in turn, would help the economy to recover,” he says. “We should extend the first-time buyer tax credit to all homebuyers and eliminate the repayment feature, and make permanent the higher loan limits that are vital in high-cost markets – the faster we do this, the faster housing and the economy can recover.”