- The total number of sales transactions continued to match rates from 1996 - 1997. A trend we've seen for the entire year and possibly representative of a "normal" rate of sales.
- Inventory vs. sales (aka "absorption rate") came in at 7.5 months. Better than August '07 and '08, but slipping back above the '06 rate.
- Sales for August were up 2.0% year over year, but down from July. This reflected national existing home sales which slipped a bit on a month to month basis (down 2.7%) although they still gained 3.4% year over year.
As noted in previous columns, we are seeing that the rush is on for first-time buyers to beat the clock on the tax credit and we will probably see that reflected in September and October numbers - with a potential drop off in November. Since sales have to close by November 30th, the recommendation has been that buyers need to be under contract by Oct. 15th to make the cut. With some financial incentives ending, the statistics over the next few months will tell the tale on how quickly the market returns to a balanced state.