According to AFP, CNBC,and other news reporting agencies, the data released by the National Association of Realtors bodes poorly for the housing market, which is ridiculous. First, the housing numbers are for the “whole United States” including those areas hit by heavy rain and snow from Thanksgiving to New Year and the first two weeks of 2010. Second, gas prices went up, lending guidelines tightened, and lenders were trying to comply with all the regulatory changes that went into effect on January 1, 2010. Third, and most important, is that there were fewer houses on the market to sell.
In previous years current homeowners were able to leverage the value of their home, for the down payment on a replacement home, and let the home be sold during the holidays. Since that option is not as readily available, home owners have waited to put their homes on the market. In the Kansas City Metropolitan area people want to buy and sell homes, with or without the tax credit. Sales in Johnson County Kansas and Jackson County Missouri were actually up, and so were the year to date pending sales.
The most important data released is that home prices are beginning to see increases. In December of 2008 a Kansas City Metro home, on average, sold for just 91.1 percent of what the seller wanted, December of 2009 homes were selling at 96 percent of list price, on average.