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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Home Sales: One and Done

by Calculated Risk on 5/12/2009 11:32:00 AM

The NAR reported today: Foreclosure and Short Sale Discounts Weigh Down Metro Area Median Prices

" ... first-time buyers account[ed] for half of all purchases during the first quarter ..."

“Close to 455,000 buyers purchased their first home during the first quarter, and those are likely just the first wave of new buyers coming into the market – they’re critical for a housing recovery,” [Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist] said.
Most of the press release discusses the median price (something to ignore because of the change in mix), but there is a key point being missed - many of these sales are "one and done" with no move up buyer.

Home Sales One and Done Click on graphis for larger image in new window.

Here is a graphic I created a couple years ago to show a normal market chain reaction.

At that time I wrote: "Not all chain reactions start with a first time buyer using a subprime loan, but the loss of a large number of subprime buyers will impact the entire chain."

Where are the move up buyers going to come from?

There is no "chain reaction" in the housing market - over half the sales are to first time buyers, and frequently the sellers are banks.

I hear this from real estate agents all the time: the agents (low end) are plenty busy with REOs and short sales, but the deals are mostly "one and done".