Home sales jumped 5.5% last month

With all the doom and gloom on the news, are there any bright spots out there?  Yes, of course there are!  One is the falling price of oil, gas and other commodities, which helps to soften any downturn in the economy.  But what may surprise you is that the resale home market is another bright spot.

We've written in previous blog posts that the Intown Atlanta market has been doing quite well, in contrast to many other parts of the country.  But now comes news that the country as a whole is rebounding in terms of existing home sales.  In September, existing home sales jumped 5.5% as affordability has improved.  Improving affordability in some markets has to do with home prices correcting to more reasonable levels after steep run-ups in bubble markets.  But another factor that improves affordability in all markets is interest rates.

Recent actions by the federal government, including the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the economic "rescue" plan, has lead to lower interest rates for home loans.  Very often buyers can now get fixed-rate mortgages under 6 percent.  Check with a qualified mortgage lender to see what kind of rate you can get.

The jump in sales last month was the largest since 2003, and outperformed economists expectations.  Many economists have said that the economy will not recover until the housing market stabilizes, to this is welcome news.  This news coupled with declining inventory may imply that the housing market has reached a bottom.  This emphasizes what a great time it is to buy now. 

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