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The Second Quarter of 2009 real estate sales figures are out now along with the numbers from this past June; let’s take a look.

Here’s what this past June looked like in numbers of closed sales in the greater Knoxville area.

June 2009 closed real estate sales for the greater Knoxville, TN area

June 2009 closed real estate sales for the greater Knoxville, TN area

Not too much difference here compared to this past May except the dramatic upturn in sales in past months of June seemed to start earlier.

Now let’s take a look at the 2nd quarter numbers. Here’s the 2nd quarter of 2009 compared to past 2nd quarters.

No real surprises here, these numbers looked pretty much as I expected.

These graphs represent numbers of real homes sold and the numbers still look pretty sad compared to past years. Sales volume today is basically back where it was in 2002.

2nd quarter 2009 compared to past 2nd quarters

2nd quarter 2009 compared to past 2nd quarters

Here’s a graph showing days on the market or time to sell a house. Not surprisingly that number is up.

Greater Knoxville area average time to sell a home

Greater Knoxville area average time to sell a home

So what is the solution to Knoxville’s housing crisis?

Unfortunately most of the solution depends on the way the federal government manages the current financial crisis brought about by loosening of lending standards to let marginal and in some cases, unqualified buyers, buy homes with high leveraged loans they couldn’t afford.

Now lender and the fed has over corrected making it more difficult for well qualified buyers to qualify for loans they can easily afford. Most every Realtor I talk with, both locally and across the country, has stories of qualified buyers that want to buy a house they can well afford to make the payments on but either get turned down or have to jump through numerous lending hoops before they can buy.

All of this has combined to create a crisis of confidence in our financial system, driving down the stock market, causing job losses, and huge numbers of foreclosures as the weak buyers that probably should not have been able to buy in the first place, struggle or can’t make their mortgage payments.

The current federal tax credit to enable buyers that enables buyers making under $150,000 ($75,000 for single buyers) is what’s driving a big portion of our market right now. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has petitioned Congress to continue this credit which expires in November of this year, through 2010, increase it to $15,000, and let it apply to all homebuyers, not just those who have not owned a home in the past 3 years. We’ll see how that goes.

Another solution would be to loosen up the guidelines for qualified buyers and not penalize them. Home purchases not only create lots of jobs for people involved in those transactions, each one also drives many thousands of dollars in retail sales as new homeowners purchase goods and services for their new homes.

Please feel free to make comments or ask any questions you may have.

All of Knoxville’s Realtors listings are available for you to see at

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