A drop in homebuyer activity helped trigger a noticeable decline in home prices between May and June, according to the latest Campbell Survey of Real Estate Market Conditions conducted on behalf of Inside Mortgage Finance (IMF). A 32% plummet in new home sales in May correlates with a drop in overall homebuyer activity, although updated data out today from the Census Bureau shows a nearly 24% surge in new home sales in June. Thomas Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys, told HousingWire that the decrease in homebuyer activity evaluated in the survey represents a drop in first-time homebuyer activity after the expiration of the tax credit. The Cambpell/IMF survey found that home prices fell in three out of four property categories last month and the agents surveyed said that the April 30 deadline for tax credit option decreased demand for buying new homes. The first-time homebuyer share of home purchase transactions was down from 48% (March) to 42% (June). Without applicable tax credit, “buyers just plan on deducting the $8,000 off what they are going to offer now,” said one agent from Ohio. Another agent located in Florida stated that a house that would usually go for a market price of $139,000 is now dropping its price down to $129,000 just to get a decent amount of showings. Survey results suggest that home prices will continue on this downward trend for the months of July and August. Agents stated at a ratio of 10 to 1 that they predict the prices for home contracts will go down with the end of homebuyer tax credit. “Contracts signed in June will be closing in July and August,” explained Popik. “That’s why we know prices for closed transactions will continue their decline. But this won’t be reflected in the publicly-released price indexes until October or November.” Write to Christine Ricciardi.
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