Buyer Tax Credits End, Home Sales Fall
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Feb. 26 The sale of existing homes fell 7.2% in January and 16.2% in December following expiration of the first round of federal tax credits for homebuyers on November 30.
Yet January sales remained 11.5% above those of one year ago, reported the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The sales decline, "raises concern about the strength of a recovery," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
An $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers and $6,500 tax credit
for repeat buyers has been extended until April 30.
"Activity should be picking up strongly in late spring as buyers take advantage of the tax credit, which is critical to absorb the distressed properties reaching the market and to continually chip away at inventory," Yun said. With fewer homes on the market, especially in the lower price ranges, home prices have begun to firm up, he added, but with big variances across the U.S.