Dataquick reported home sales for Ventura County for October 2009 today. Home sales came in at 879, up 9.6% YoY. The median sales prices came in at $365,000 which was down 2.7% YoY. Assuming people lock the month before they close September 2008 rates were 6.04%, September 2009 rates were 5.06%. Such a dramatic drop in rates combined with the tax credit expiration (it has been extended but people who would have wanted to take advantage of it would have had to sign contracts before it was extended) and the desire to close before the holidays start all made October the best sales month of the year. We will now see sales drop due to seasonality and the lack of inventory on the market. Rates are below 5% currently but there is little motivating reason for purchasing right now. Between the holidays and the lack of selection people purchasing now have either lucked out and found 'the one' or just settled on a lesser home.
I expect November to come in flat to slightly down YoY and December to definitely be lower YoY for sales. We are at historically very low sales and very little evidence of that changing anytime soon. Prices kept artificially high will mean sales will be kept artificially low.