Sales in 2011 were at record levels, more than during the bubble, and it looks like 2012 will be an even stronger year – even with some new rules that slow the foreclosure process. The total number of local homes, condominiums and townhomes sold in February was 3,794. That’s up from 3,591 in January, and up from 3,371 total sales in February 2011. An important component is the decline in inventory. Total single family inventory was down 15.4% and excluding contingent listings, it was down 45.6% year over year!
Last month the number of homes that resold rose 11.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, marking the 11th consecutive month in which resales have posted an annual gain. It was the highest number of resales for a November since 2009, and the second-highest since 2005. November sales of newly-built homes also rose from a year earlier, by 9.8 percent, but were still the second-lowest on record for a November. New-home sales have risen year-over-year for the past five consecutive months.
More than half of this year’s purchases were all-cash transactions, a sign that investors are finding bargains at the low end of the market, said Robert Lang, a professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.… “Prices are below the cost of materials and labor,” said Lang, also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “If you’re betting the U.S. economy won’t go back to Armageddon, you might see one-third appreciation if you buy now.”