Crying Wolf About April 30?

Sales of existing homes in December fell 16.7 percent from November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million units, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

–“Existing Home Sales Drop More Than Forecast“; The New York Times (1/25/2010)

My take is that a big chunk of the drop is explained by the (then) Nov. 30 deadline for qualifying for the first-time home buyer tax credit.

As you may recall, at the 11th hour, Congress extended and expanded the credit.

The new expiration date is April 30 (deals actually have another 60 days to close).

And no, I don’t expect a flurry of transactions ahead of the new deadline — at least not more than would normally occur in what is otherwise a seasonally very busy time for the housing market (at least in Minnesota).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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