A report on Monday that existing-home sales jumped 10% in September, signaling a sales recovery in the housing market, closely followed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement that the Fed is actively supporting foreclosure prevention at the local level.
Completed existing-home transactions—which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—came to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million in September from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in its report.
September 2010’s level remains 19.1% below the 5.60 million-unit pace in September 2009. However, first-time homebuyers last year were preparing for an initial tax-credit deadline in November, and this month’s 10% increase actually marks the early stages of recovery, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
“A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium,” Yun said in a statement. “But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions.”
Also on Monday, Bernanke spoke about the state of the U.S. housing market, suggesting that the troubled industry’s problems have been identified and that dubious underwriting practices and inappropriate mortgage products are now being corrected.