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October 2nd, 2009 7:22 AM by David W. Welch
For the fourth month in a row our closed sales in Orlando have surpassed the 2,000 mark. It is also the sixth month in a row with more than 3,400 new contracts being written. In fact, I count more than 3,700 contracts written in September making it the busiest month yet this year. The inventory has dropped a bit more too, which is typical at the end of the month. Yesterday we dipped below 16,000 active listings, and paired up with the 2,000 plus sales our months of inventory should drop below eight. We typically view six months of inventory as a balanced market place. The median price is a little lower around $126,000, but continues to hover around $130,000 where it has been since March of this year. Combined with interest rates averaging at or just below 5%, I expect a big rise in our affordability index for last month.
There are a lot of people, Realtors included, pushing for an extension of the tax credit. Demand could be very different in other markets, but I am mostly hearing of similar improvement around the country. I do not think we need additional demand stimulus at this point, but we do need the banks to start approving short sales, accepting offers on their REO's in a timely manner, and getting loans closed. If they could handle the pace we are writing contracts, this would be a banner year in Orlando real estate. Instead of focusing on additional tax credits, let's focus on getting the banks up to speed getting our current 8,900 contracts closed.
Orlando Real Estate, David Welch Real Estate Optimist