Real estate data indicates that existing-home sales declined in February on a monthly basis, while surging from the previous year.
According to the National Association of Realtors, total existing-home sales, including single-family homes, townhouses, condominium and co-ops, fell 0.9 percent in February from the previous month, while spiking 8.8 percent higher than February 2011. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for the month was 4.59 million.
As the rate of high foreclosures and distressed properties continue to add downward pressure on overall home prices, entry level homebuyers and investors alike are capitalizing on the bargain prices of existing homes.
"The bottom line is investors and first-time buyers are competing for bargain-priced properties in much of the country, with home prices showing signs of stabilizing in many areas," said NAR president Moe Veissi. "People realize that homeownership is an investment in their future. Given an apparent over-correction in most areas, over the long-term, home prices have nowhere to go but up."
The government recently implemented a pilot program with a unique set of lending regulation to make it easier for investors to purchase REO property in bulk from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Should this initiative be successful, the program could be applied to short sales in the future as well.