The housing industry remains slow because of the downturn in the economy. The latest numbers from the National Association of Realtors shows that sales were off 15% in May when compared to a year ago. Sales are being impacted by the high unemployment rate and tougher lending guidelines but there are some reasons for optimism.
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One of the reasons sales were down was because last May was a strong one for the real estate industry with big federal tax credits still available. That incentive is gone now and when you compare the sales figures for May of 2011 with May of 2009 when there were no credits they are quite comparable. We are also seeing some stability in the job market with the unemployment rate back below 10%.
The good news for home buyers is that prices remain relatively low. Someone in the market for a new home with good credit can expect to get a very good deal. Sellers know that the market is down and that means they are going to have to accept less if they hope to move their property. There are also a number of foreclosed properties up for sale and banks are willing to take below market value for them just to unload them. You can find ideas for fixing up foreclosed properties at swwcn.org.
It looks like real estate will remain a buyers market for some time to come. There are a great number of homes waiting to be sold on the market and until that glut eases things will not get significantly better. The average selling time is 8 months.