Reading the National Association of Realtors Existing Home Sales data,  I see potential and a great future.  The pricing was headed for a correction:  in 1994 the median price of an existing home was $107,200.  In 2006 it was $221,900,  in May 2009 it was $173,000.    It is a little early to tell what 2009 sales will be but in a nutshell…2006: 6.478 million sales;  2007: 5.652 million sales;  2008: 4.913 million sales.  Forecasted for 2009 is presently at 4.77 million sales, this is has been upwardly revised since January’s 4.49 million sales data.  Real Estate Insights in February 2009 has 5 million in sales predicted.  In reading the Wells Fargo Securities report of 7.17.09, I quote: “Sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent in May, pushing sales up to a 4.77 million unit annual rate.  Existing home sales have been holding in a relatively tight range since late 2008 but likely bottomed in January, putting the peak-trough decline at about 38 percent.  While existing sales have increased for two consecutive months, distressed sales accounted for 33 percent of activity in May.  With distressed sales still representing about a third of existing home sales, we are not expecting a near-term rebound.  We expect sales will continue to hold within the same narrow range increasing a modest 0.2 percent to a 4.78 million unit annual rate.  Since existing home sales represent closings (as opposed to contract signings in the new home sales) these data represent sales contracts around March and April when the 30-year fixed mortgage rate broke below five percent.” 

In Alexandria, 1st quarter stats concurred that about one-third of our sales locally were distressed sales.  However, I do see that 2009 may outperform 2008.  My sales here are at 42 closings so far for this year.  Last year, it (closed sales)was 68 total; in 2004, it was 116.   I do very little foreclosure work, last year it was less than 6% of my sales activity.