The NAR reports that prices are stabilizing and that existing home sales were up in the fourth quarter of 2009, jumping 13.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.03 million. The NAR also noted that distressed properties accounted for 32% of fourth-quarter transactions, down from 37% a year ago.
Of course, we know that all real estate is local, so individually the national figures may or may not apply, but there is a psychological benefit to seeing an aggregated improvement in markets outside our own.
Improvement, though, is not the word we would use for mortgage rates. Yes, rates have held steady in 2010, with movements north or south being measured in a few basis points. But at this juncture, the odds of a significant move north far outweigh the odds for a significant move south.