Existing-home sales down 25% in Phila. region

<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: arial; font-size: 12px; line-height: 13px; “><h1 style=”font-size: 150%; “><span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”color: rgb(102, 102, 102); font-size: 10px; font-weight: normal; “>By Alan J. Heavens</span><br /></h1><p class=”byline lastline” style=”font-size: 10px; color: rgb(102, 102, 102); padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 12px; margin-left: 0px; “>INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER</p><div class=”body-content” style=”font-size: 12px; “><p>Existing-home sales in August fell 25.1 percent in the eight-county Philadelphia region from 2007, although median sale prices remained the same, at $220,000.</p><p>While the year-over-year sales decline was more than July’s 22.6 percent drop, it was below the 27.8 percent in the first six months of 2008, according to Prudential Fox & Roach HomExpert Report, using data from the Trend Multiple Listing Service.</p><p>Median prices had fallen 2.5 percent year-over-year in July, HomExpert reported.</p><p>Another price indicator, from First American CoreLogic of Santa Ana, Calif., yesterday put the region’s year-over-year drop in July at 3.78 percent. Of the 34 metro areas surveyed, only Denver and Charlotte experienced smaller declines.</p><p>Nationally, sales fell 9.6 percent year-over-year, and median prices were 9.7 percent below August 2007, the National Association of Realtors reported today.</p><p>Foreclosure sales in August, especially in California, kept the percentage decline from being even higher, but contributed to the price drop, economists said.</p><p>In Los Angeles, 46 percent of August sales were foreclosures. The median sale price dropped more than 30 percent as a result.</p><p>Sales dropped, NAR president Richard Gaylord said, because “difficulty in obtaining a mortgage increased over the past couple months, making it more challenging for creditworthy borrowers to find financing.”</p><p>In the meantime, the decline in fixed rates created in the aftermath of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac takeover is being reversed because of concern over delays in the the government’s proposed bailout of financial institutions.</p><p>The Mortgage Bankers Association today reported that applications for new mortgages fell more than 10 percent from last Wednesday, and fell more than 11 percent for refinancings.</p><p>Bankrate.com today reported 30-year fixed rates at 5.93 percent, compared with 5.73 percent last week.</p><p><span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-weight: bold;”>”It’s very confusing, and it is so day-to-day,” said Philadelphia mortgage broker Fred Glick. “Rates changed five times last Friday.”</span></p></div></span>

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