Small businesses play a role in the housing market.
Within the housing market are small businesses that drive it and they have recently reported signs that the industry may now be experiencing a comeback.
A few months earlier at the beginning of spring, real estate agents and home builders were reporting a larger number of potential buyers coming to look at the open houses and calling to inquire about listings. It now appears these prospective buyers have turned into sales.
Similarly, businesses are being driven by pent up demand meaning that many people whom had put off buying since before the recession are now purchasing homes. Rising rents are making it more attractive to buy while prices are lower after their plunge from the housing crisis. To make home buying even more attractive in this market, financing is at an all time low at 3.75 percent for a 30 year fixed loan.
The National Association of Realtors says more than 1.3 million previously occupied homes were sold from January through April, up 7 percent from more than 1.2 million a year earlier. The Commerce Department says 117,000 new homes were sold during the first four months of the year, up nearly 15 percent from 102,000 a year ago.
The numbers, however, reflect an improvement from a weak spring in 2011, but isn’t yet what you could be considered robust. A Realtors’ index that measures the number of home sales contracts fell in April. The spring selling season got an early start because unusually warm weather in January and February encouraged many people to start looking at houses, and that may have taken away some sales from April. But the drop also coincided with signs the job market was slowing and a decline in the stock market. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell nearly 1 percent in April, its first month with a loss since November. That may have led some potential buyers to pause. Another wrinkle: fiscal and banking crises in Europe and their potential effect on the global economy.
There are definitely changes afoot. The surplus of homes that had been hanging over the industry has been disappearing in many parts of the country, according to Budge Huskey, president of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Many houses were bought by investors and first-time buyers. As a result, “we’ve flipped from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market,” Huskey said.