Credit Suisse interviews 1,500 Real Estate Agents across the nation and compiles the data in its Monthly Survey.
Agents report decent traffic from buyers during the month of August. This is the first month that agents reported that buyer traffic met expectations for the month since a flurry of activity in January, 2007.
$8,000 first time buyer tax credit spurs traffic. Our traffic index climbed to 46 in August, up from 29 in July, as buyers responded to the pending expiration of the first-time buyer tax credit. The traffic index was at its highest level since a brief spurt in January 2007. Agents generally noted that the better traffic resulted from buyers having more confidence, responding to the lower prices, and taking advantage of the tax credit.
Prices still falling, but more agents see stabilization as inventory levels flatten out. Our home price index measured 30 in August, up from 21 in July, although any reading below 50 indicates lower home prices over the past 30 days. However, the improvement reflects the fact that more agents saw stable prices this month than last month. Importantly, our home listings index pointed to nearly flat inventory levels in August, a significant change from prior months. The home listings index measured 47, far better than 28 in July. This improvement is significant, as the high inventory levels have pushed prices lower, while a stabilization of inventory could help lead to a bottom in home prices.
Based on all the market indicators I have access to, we’re not out of the woods yet, but many indicators are finally moving in the right direction.
Your guide is predicting a pretty good fall market (right now through mid-November) and a solidly good Spring.