More investors buy existing homes, snatching up bargains and hedging against inflation.
In positive news for the troubled housing industry, sales of existing homes rose 7.7 percent in the month of August and are 18.6 percent higher than sales for August 2010, according to a report released today by the National Association of Realtors.
Rising rents, record low interest rates and discounts on prices boosted the market, said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist. “Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties,” he said. “In addition to bargain hunting, some investors are in the market to hedge against higher inflation.”
Investors accounted for 22 percent of purchases in August, up from 18 percent in July, while first-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of sales.
Hurricane Irene disrupted sales along the Eastern seaboard and into New England, while tight credit and low appraisals continue to constrain both new and existing home sales across the nation.