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Signs of Housing Market Recovery

Realtors across the nation are seeing some light at the end of the long tunnel:

Small-town Texan realtor Rick Cumins is going to see a paycheck in April -- his first since December.

"I've got two pending closings in April, one for a property worth $55,000, the other for $68,000. They'll pay the rent," he told Reuters in his modest office in the town of Cleburne, about 20 miles south of Fort Worth.

Cumins is not the only realtor who is starting to see some fleeting light at the end of a long and torturous tunnel.

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose at their fastest pace in nearly six years in February, data showed on Monday, providing some good news for the recession-hit economy.

They rose 5.1 percent in February to a 4.72 million-unit annual rate, notching their largest gain since July 2003, the National Association of Realtors said. But about 45 percent of the sales were foreclosure or short-sale transactions.

Things seem to be picking up in many parts of the country, and early indication that the market is turning around:

"It's like it's been raining buyers, when they've been the scarcest thing in town," said Joan Dodd, a realtor who has worked 30 years in the Phoenix Valley -- one of the areas most blighted by foreclosures as boom turned to bust.

"The buyers are just seeming to come out of nowhere ... We've had a long dry spell, but it seems to be over."

Dodd said she thought interest rates were "fabulously low," which had helped entice buyers back into the market. She further cited an $8,000 tax allowance for first-time home buyers -- a view echoed by others.

Janie Hudson, a Kansas City realtor who has also been in the business for 30 years, said she saw positive trends.

"It isn't great but I don't see any doom and gloom. If they are priced well they are starting to sell," she said.

Just this month, a three-bedroom ranch house, priced at $330,000, sold in its first week on the market at its asking price -- something she had not seen for some time.

Atlanta realtor Renee Kunkler said there were signs that things were starting to pick up and she expected the market to bounce back somewhat by the end of this year.

In recent weeks, Kunkler has seen increased numbers of buyers attracted by low rates and also a perception that there were good deals to be had.

She cited one example in which a buyer this week wanted to offer $600,000 on a house that had originally been priced at $799,000 before being reduced to $699,000.

"All buyers are just obsessed about getting the deal. Nobody cares about loving a house. They care about getting a deal, a foreclosure," she said.

Deals are there, and they buyers are stepping in -- a good sign that the market has the beginnings of a comeback.

Rush Limbaugh and his conservative corral of clowns must be spitting nails.

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Comments (5)


No, not spitting nails, just confirming that the good news in the housing market proved that the market will handle itself.

These housing numbers of course were for February, and the stimulus bill was not signed until the 17th. Be awful hard to try and credit this stimulus bill for that.

Hopefully, the housing market sales will continue to grow.

Lee Ward:

Proved that the market will handle itself? Are you frigging serious? Rising unemployment, companies cutting back, and the market will just "heal itself", eh?

Typical Bush-league thinking. The market doesn't heal itself in a recession, and make no mistake - we are still very much in a recession. Thanks to the steps Obama has taken this "light at the end of the tunnel" that we're now seeing has a chance to grow and get stronger.

Thank God the Republicans are out of office. If we were still saddled with their stupidity....


"I hope he fails" -- Rush Limpdick

The sick part of all this is apparent in the first response to the post. If the President's economic recovery plans fail, then he and the Democrats will be thrown into the fire. If he succeeds, then it is just a natural "the market took care of itself" phenomenon.

Find solace in the fact that the president has a 67% approval rating and no one is listening to these nutcases anymore. God bless America.


Incredible, Lee attributes the housing news as a miracle only possible because of what Obama did. Again, please explain how 17 days into February before signing the stimulus, and only 11 days more afterwards, Obama had any effect.

And Ryan you too are more than welcome to explain it as well.

Please, explain it to us all how housing sales increased before the stimulus plan was signed.

I am more than intellectually honest to say when I am wrong, so please explain it.

Lee Ward:

John - It's all about confidence on the part of the buyer that thanks to Obama there would be an effective stimulus bill and (1) house prices won't continue to fall, that we've reached the bottom and (2) demand for mortgages will rise, raising interest rates and creating an incentive to buy now rather than later, and (3) the economy will improve, reducing the risk of 1 and 2 reversing.

it's the same reason the stock market is up about 15% this year so far.

Don't you just hate it when America succeeds, John?

Need more nails? lol


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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