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…The number of sales tend to peak in the second quarter of each year. This is reflective of the spring selling season including demand generated from the early year Wall Street bonus season. However, the peak level of activity year to date occurred during the third quarter suggesting the seasonal housing cycle was pushed forward by three months. The unusually low level of sales activity in the first quarter of 2009 appeared to set the stage for a release of pentup demand later in the year. The summer surge in the number of sales was caused by a myriad of factors including mortgage rates at historic lows, the $8,000 first time buyer tax credit, increased affordability after the sharp correction in price levels, and continued evidence that the financial system was continuing to stabilize. In addition, a 24% jump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past 6 months resulted in an improvement in consumer confidence. Still, unemployment remains elevated, employment in the financial services sector continues to decline and unusually restrictive mortgage underwriting remains in place. Therefore, this surge in the number of sales does not appear to indicate a housing market “bottom”, but rather provides some evidence that the housing market has “turned the corner”…
Download 3Q 2009 Manhattan Market Overview