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The Factor Driving Home Sales: Fear

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The National Association of Realtors reports home sales up 10.4% in July of 2012 compared to July 2011. The median sale price was up to $187,300.

Unemployment was also up in July. So if there are fewer people working able to qualify for a home purchase, the rising number of home sales has to be due to record low interest rates and pent up demand. That and investors snatching up short sales and foreclosed properties.

Lawrence Yun chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said; “However, the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions.”

Yun is asking GSE’s to release foreclosed properties especially in areas where the inventory is tight. Yun blames a tight supply for the West not joining the party of increasing home sales. Nationally there is a 6.4 month inventory for sale, however millions remain lurking in shadow inventory yet to hit the market.

The pace of sales nationally is up to 4.47 million homes, up from a pace of 4.05 in July of 2011. Yun claims that 5.6 million sales, a normal pace, could be achieved without the tighter lending guidelines and tight inventory. Seems sales regularly exceeded 6 million pre-recession. 5.6 million must be the new norm?

I wouldn’t be going out and doing a happy dance just yet. Even compared to the new norm home sales are off by 21%. The happy dance about prices rising five consecutive months to $187,300 is placed in perspective when in March of 2007 the record high median sale price was set at $262,600 (according to the census bureau).

The association of Realtors, and the Obama supporting liberal press can do all the happy dances they want but this surge in home sales is temporary. If interest rates rise, which isn’t likely in near term, or when pent up demand is satisfied the dance will be over without job creation.

If Obama wins reelection there won’t be anybody dancing in the real estate industry. Obama has no plan that would allow job growth in the private sector except more of the same; more stimulus, more debt, and higher taxes. Must be out to prove Einstein 100% correct. Besides Obama said the private sector is fine, we just need more government jobs.

The unwritten reason why home sales are surging is fear. The American people aren’t stupid, at least the majority of them, and they recognize not only the historical opportunity for cheap money, they also recognize they can lock in a low cost for their housing and protect themselves in frightening economic times.

What’s so frightening? Obama policies. If you want to see fear look into the eyes of thousands of coal miners and their families lined up to hear Romney or Ryan on the campaign trail.

Obama’s flat earth no growth environmental extremism is not only threatening the livelihoods of tens of thousands in coal and oil, Obama policies have led once again to another record high average gas price in August. Obama continues to decimate the disposable incomes of working families.

The news this week couldn’t have been worse when Elmendorf head of the CBO predicted a recession, and unemployment rising to 9% next year if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire and spending cuts allowed to go into effect.

There’s nothing reassuring coming from our president that would inspire and give confidence to the people. A campaign full of distortions promoting class envy pitting one American against another won’t inspire an economic recovery. For Obama it’s all about reelection at any cost by any means.

President Obama cannot run on his record because it is one of epic failure. As long as the campaign is going people will remain fearful about the future. Only when it becomes apparent that Obama will be defeated will hope be renewed in America.

An Obama defeat is the only thing that could extend this temporary rally in home sales. Business confidence and consumer confidence would soar. The American people know they have no future with an ideologue as president proven not to know how to grow the private sector but is a master at growing government to dictate over the private sector.

When everyone able to buy a home has purchased, there’s no job creation, who will be left to buy a home in Obama’s stagnation nation?

The opinions expressed here are solely those of Fritz Pfister or identified sources, and not necessarily those of RE/MAX Professionals of Springfield or RE/MAX International.


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