The number of American buyers who signed offers to purchase homes went up in January to the highest point in almost two years sustaining the platform that our real estate market is showing increasing improvement.
Last Monday the National Association of Realtors stated that its index of sales agreements went up 2 percent last month to a reading of 97. That's the best reading since April 2010, which was the last month that buyers could cash in on the federal home-buying tax credit and the last time the reading was over 100.
A reading of 100 is considered healthy.
The NAR also released revised data for 2011. That decreased November's initial 19-month high of 100.1 to 96.9. However, contracts have been noticeably higher since summer when many were concerned that a second recession was imminent.
Contract signings are usually a bellweather of how the housing market is developing. The time frame between an accepted offer and closing escrow is generally one to two months.
This increase in accepted offers sustains other evidence of recovery in the housing market.
An economist at Decision Economics, Pierre Ellis, says home sales and building are in the process of “ongoing general, but gentle, progress.”
While we are no doubt a few years from a full recovery, housing prices are more affordable than they've been in decades and mortgage rates at all time historical lows.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home or investment property, I’m happy to help you in the decision making process and consider your options. The window of opportunity is still open!