Sep 2, 2009

I have a little beef

Recent reports about the real estate market suggest improvements on several fronts. Prices of single family homes rose in June, recording an increase for the second month in a row. New home sales were up and the available home inventory is decreasing. The rise in the consumer confidence index by 7 points in August was also a positive signal.

So why are so many media reports crediting only the first-time home buyer program for the increase in sales? Its the same gloom and doom headlines we've been reading for over a year.
First time home buyers typically purchase the least expensive properties - which would reduce the average home price for recent sales instead of increasing the average sales price. I think people looking for great buys across the board are making their moves.

Whether the improving market will continue will depend on several factors outside of the first-timer's incentive. The specter of uncertainty still looms large. Unemployment claims remain high, personal income is flat, and spending rose only marginally in July. Even more significantly, the federal budget deficit is expected to balloon to an incredible $9 trillion. That needs to be brought down slowly with minimal impact on economies across the globe. The government has to find new avenues to earn revenue other than tax increases and ensure job growth on a longer-time horizon.

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