Real estate agent shakes hands with new homeowners

March Housing Numbers Better Than Expected

After a slow February in the housing market, the March 2010 sales numbers are at the highest they have been in years. The country’s economic recovery seems to be taking hold and that is fantastic news for people who make their living in a real estate career.  Along with the end of the federal tax incentives for home buyers comes the fear of returning to poor sales figures; however there appears to be evidence to the contrary. Not only has the housing market seen a large increase in the number of contracts signed, the service sector has seen an increase as well.

According to a report released by The Institute for Supply Management in early April, the March service index raised to 55.4, exceeding the 54 that expert economist’s at Thomson Reuters had predicted. The trade group considers anything over a service index of 50 to signify economic expansion. This is also a larger increase that the service sector has seen in years indicating growth in the job market as well. With the service industries fueling 80% of the employment in the United States, this is great news for real estate license holders. The growth currently being experienced in the housing market seems to be a sign of true economic recovery.

It is not only new sales and the service industry that are showing significant improvements; existing home sales also saw a spike that exceeded the expert predictions. The National Association of Realtors had anticipated that the February numbers would remain virtually the same as January’s sale figures; when the February existing home sales were tallied, they came in more than eight percent higher than the previous month rising to 97.6 percent.

With the already high inventory levels and the large numbers of foreclosure properties still entering the market, the bad news for the time being would be that the values of homes will not make a sharp comeback anytime soon. This bad news, however, could be considered quite good news in that the prices of homes should remain low. Low pricing has generated a great deal of interest in those buyers that had been waiting on the sidelines to see what the housing market would do. These people can now afford homes that they had previously been priced out of, and this is driving them into the market to take advantage of the opportunities available. What had previously been a home they could only dream about can now become the home of their dreams.

Affordability, along with continued low interest rates and the good news on the employment front, should be enough to continue to grow the housing market throughout the remainder of 2010 and into the future. Agents and brokers across the country are getting ready for a return to the types of commissions that have made a holding an active real estate license one of most lucrative ways to make a living in America.

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