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Pre Owned Home Sales Down in August

September 9, 2008

No sign yet of a housing turnaround in North Texas.

The Dallas Morning News reported, Pre-owned home sales slumped 18 percent in August compared with a year ago.

And median sales prices slid 3 percent to $150,000, according to the latest statistics from the North Texas Real Estate Information System and Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center.

The fall-off in condo sales was even steeper – 31 percent last month.

The only good news in the monthly report is that the number of houses on the market continues to fall, dropping 14 percent at the end of August. But that may be because some sellers have taken their homes off the market.

Just over 42,000 pre-owned single-family homes were listed for sale in the Realtors’ multiple listing service at the start of this month.

August’s drop in home sales was one of the largest in North Texas in the current housing sector slowdown. Monthly pre-owned home sales volumes are now down more than 30 percent from the peak in mid-2006.

So far in 2008, local pre-owned home sales have fallen 15 percent from the first eight months of 2007. And overall prices are down 1 percent.

Real estate agents say that buyers are taking longer to make a decision and sometimes have trouble lining up financing.

"I’ve never seen a market like this where we have people sometimes looking at 30 to 40 homes before they pull the trigger," said agent Scott Schueler with Keller Williams Realty. "When they do pull the trigger, there is a 30 percent fallout rate. They are not making quick decisions, even when they find good deals."

On average it takes 77 days to sell a house in North Texas – 10 percent longer than in August 2007.

There is a 6.5-month inventory of houses on the market. That compares with a national inventory of more than 10 months.

Mortgage market problems are definitely adding to the home sales slowdown.



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