May, 2010 home sales vs. May, 2009 home sales are up 24.4%.  That makes three months in a row where the number of closings exceeded the 2009 numbers. 

The major reason for this increase is related to the federal tax credit.  But, you say it ended in April!  Yes, the ability to write a qualifying contract ended on April 30, but buyers have until June 30 to close the loan.

At this point the House and Senate have a bill in front of them extending the time to close until August 30.  Why would it be extended?  Many builders accepted more contracts on new homes than they have been able to build in the time allotted.  Bank short sales and foreclosures often take months longer to close than predicted, delaying the closing dates again and again.  This legislation may or may not be pass in time.Cincinnati Single Family and Condo Sales - 2009-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another major reason for the increase in sales is low mortgage interest rates.  The mortgage interest rate is down almost a full point since January.  Recent advertisements for loan rates for the best customers have touted rates as low as 4.75% for a 30 year fixed rate loan.

Another light at the end of this real estate tunnel seems to be reduced inventory.  In May of 2009, there was 8.37 months of inventory available in the Cincinnati market.  Today is stands at about 6.7 months of inventory.  A balanced market is in the 5-6 months of inventory range.  Anything above that favors buyers: below that favors sellers.

For the year, closings are up 13%, gross volume of sales is up 24% and the average price is up 9.9%.  All GOOD NEWS!