SOURCE: Campbell Communications

October 19, 2009 14:17 ET

Campbell Survey Uncovers Surprising 'Mini-Boom' in Housing Market

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - October 19, 2009) - A surprising surge in housing activity helped push up home prices nationwide during September, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate Market Conditions.

The monthly tracking survey of real estate agents showed average home prices rose a healthy 6 percent from August to September -- a sharp reversal of the 1 percent decline reported between July and August. Driving the monthly rise in home prices was a very strong 16 percent jump in home purchase transactions month-on-month, the survey of September transactions found.

"Our survey statistics are indicating a mini-boom in the housing market," said Thomas Popik, research director for the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Survey. "There's a confluence of positive factors: historically low interest rates, high demand from first-time homebuyers before the expiration of the tax credit at the end of November, increased affordability, lower inventories of foreclosed properties, and a perception among homebuyers and real estate agents that the market has turned."

The new results reveal that strong demand for foreclosed properties, often sold at deeply discounted prices, drove September's rise in housing activity and average home prices.

Nationally, the average price of damaged foreclosed properties or so-called real estate owned (REO) jumped from $106,700 in August to $124,500 in September. Overall, damaged REO and move-in ready REO accounted for 31 percent of home purchase transactions in September, the survey found.

Meanwhile, the average price for non-distressed properties remained nearly constant between August and September. In August, the average price for non-distressed properties was $267,900; in September, the average price for these properties was $268,200. Non-distressed properties made up 55 percent of home purchase transactions in September, with short sales accounting for another 14 percent.

First-time homebuyer demand for properties continued to be strong in the month of September, the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Survey found. First-time homebuyers accounted for 42 percent of home purchase transactions in September, apparently driven by the scheduled November expiration of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit.

Survey respondents reported that first-time homebuyer traffic -- an indicator of future home sales -- grew sharply in September while traffic for current homeowners and investors was level or declining. The majority of homes purchased by first-time homebuyers in September were move-in ready foreclosed properties or REO, the survey found.

The Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Monthly Survey of Real Estate Market Conditions is based on a national survey of more than 1,500 real estate agents each month and provides up-to-date intelligence on home sales and mortgage usage patterns. Estimated change in home purchase transactions is imputed by reported change in average home purchase transactions per respondent. Further information on survey methodology and results is available upon request.

Contact Information

  • For more information on the survey or the September results contact:
    John Campbell
    Campbell Surveys
    (202) 363-2069
    Email Contact