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Homebuying demand, housing recovery show strong signs

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 10:58:36 AM

In many cases, the housing market seems like an extended tug of war between buyers and sellers. At the moment, it appears that the former is winning, as demand is on the way back up even as real estate enters its off-season.

According to data from Redfin, October saw 7.8 percent more buyers sign offers than in September, across 22 major real estate markets. Also, the number of people scheduling home tours increased slightly, and affordable residential financing and the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policy may have helped.

"Since mid-September, mortgage rates have done an about-face thanks to the Fed's decision to keep [its] stimulus program in place, providing extra incentive for buyers to continue their search," said Ellen Haberle, Redfin economist. "Moreover, competition is dropping steadily, which is helping to boost buyers' negotiating power. For buyers who have contended with heavy competition and rising rates and prices in 2013, these changes are a breath of fresh air."

In addition to the great deals on residential financing, the housing market has also seen a return of homebuilders, according to Steve Ozonian, chief real estate officer for Carrington Holding Company. He believes that the segment's momentum is sustainable, and that overall, real estate is back.