In real estate, the term existing home refers to a "used" property; one that can't be classified as new construction.
The number of existing homes sold each month is tracked by the National Association of REALTORS. The report is often used as a gauge for the health of the real estate market nationwide.
In October, nearly 5 million existing homes sold across the U.S. This figure represents a slight drop from September's reading, and a equally slight drop from the October 2007 data.
But, October's Existing Home Sales figures marked the 14th straight month in which Existing Home Sales straddled 5-million units. This is a remarkable statistic because 14 months of anything is a pattern, not a blip. Despite what the news tells us, Americans are buying and selling real estate at a somewhat steady clip.
In Philadelphia, our real estate market has seen some decline in the number of homes sold through the MLS this year, but a remarkable stability in price. Combined with the affordable interest rates available to buyers to day, our city is poised (according to Smart Money Magazine) for a housing recovery. Smart buyers who can should be out there buying right now.
As we head into the Holiday Season, buyer activity should slow, reducing demand for homes. At the same time, however, widespread foreclosure moratoriums should reduce the number of homes available to buy. These forces should counter-act to help keep the market (and prices) in balance.
(Image courtesy: USA Today)