July home sales in the Baltimore area
If you've been wondering what the housing market looks like at a glance, take a gander at the chart above. It shows the year-over-year change in home sales in the Baltimore metro area, and you can really see how the first-time home buyer tax credit influenced buyer activity.
The big swoop upward in October and November came as buyers thought they had to close by Nov. 30, a deadline that was extended to June 30.
That too was extended, though only at the last minute and only for buyers who had signed contracts by April 30 but were still wending their way through the closing process. Result: a July falloff in sales.
In case you're wondering, home sales in the metro area were in decline year-over-year from October 2005 until June 2009, with one little blip upward in January 2007. So the pickup in the middle of 2009 does seem tax-credit driven.
Interested in a closer look at July? Check out my home-sales story.
Wonk reader Frank Rizzo was curious to know how sales looked from a month-to-month perspective, rather than year-over-year. Here's that chart, which like the one above relies on Metropolitan Regional Information Systems data:
About 1,820 homes changed hands in July, compared with about 2,580 in June and 2,240 the previous July.