Lackluster holiday spending and low US consumer confidence did not detour home buyers the last quarter of 2012. Home sales are up for the last couple months as buyers take advantage of low interest rates and depressed property values. Local Realtors had a Merry Christmas cashing commission checks in November and December as Portland RMLS reports a 5% month over month gain in sold home volume. MERS and its legal woes have also contributed to reduced inventory; with the embattled company’s foreclosure practices now being called in to question in landmark court cases across the nation.
MERS Foreclosures Challenged In Landmark Cases
The latest burst of closed real estate transactions in combination with the low number of new listings has caused extremely low levels of available inventory. At best the housing market is peculiar with no real economic synergy behind the increased sales activity.
Meanwhile the FED has recently taken further action to avert a repeat recession and mussed that low economic activity will reach well into the later part of 2015.
The looming fiscal cliff has households on edge as politicians refuse to take on the responsibility we hired them to tackle. Oil prices have dropped due to the instability of the US economy as the world watches lawmakers bicker over US spending and tax policy. Low fuel prices are good for consumer but not enough to turn consumer sentiment in a positive direction. Consumer confidence has been on a steady decline the last few months.
The FED reported US manufacturing levels recently dropped and new unemployment claims rose.
Possibly home buyers fear the uncertainty the fiscal cliff presents on unknown future interest rates.
These RMLS charts speak for them selves.