Just a quick post today, because I wanted to share something that popped up this morning: for the fifth time in six months, the sales of previously-owned homes — in other words, not newly-constructed homes — was at a level higher than the previous month. January 2011 sales were 2.7% higher than December 2010 sales. Significantly, the January sales for 2011 were 5.3% higher than the January sales in 2010. That’s the first time in seven months that year-to-year sales have been higher. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS says this news “is very encouraging because it may be implying sustained gains in sales.”
It is important to note, however, that prices of homes are still falling nationwide. We might not have reached the bottom of the market yet, but we’re getting close. If you’re trying to decide when to buy, remember that the cost of the home is more important than the price of it. Bear in mind, also, that it is virtually impossible to determine where the bottom of the market is in real-time. With economic data, we’ll only know where the bottom was months later, after we’ve climbed out of it. If you wait, you’ll probably miss it, and really drive up the cost of your new home.