October’s existing-home sales decline
Following two consecutive months of increases, existing-home sales declined in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the 2.2% decline compared with September reflects an uneven recovery.
“A temporary foreclosure stoppage in some states is likely to have held back a number of completed sales,” according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Still, sales activity is clearly off the bottom and is attempting to settle into normal sustainable levels.”
Yun predicted the seasonally adjusted annual rate to pass 5 million by spring of next year.
Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 3.4% to 3.86 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 10.6-month supply in September, according to the NAR.
More evidence that the expiration of tax buyer incentives affected sales can be found in first-time buyer statistics. First-time buyers purchased 32% of homes in October, unchanged from September, but down from 50% a year ago during the initial surge for the first-time buyer tax credit.
• Year to date there were 4.149 million existing-home sales, down 2.9% from last year at this time; • The national median price for an existing home was $170,500, down 0.9% from last year; and • Single-family home sales declined 2.0% to a rate of 3.89 million. October 2009 saw the rate at 5.23 million.
Automation comes to LEED green building program
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developers of the LEED green building program, has announced a new program designed to streamline and create capacity for the LEED building certification process. Called LEED Automation, the program enables users to submit documentation and certify LEED projects online through third-party technology platforms.
This marks the first time USGBC has opened LEED Online to the software application market and third-party software developers. It represents the initial step in what the USGBC said it expects will be the addition of many technology partners in the future.
Around the Web: Blowers big in Iowa
The article reports that electric, cordless blowers are expected to be a popular item in the coming winter.