But why were they up? Because of an increase in foreclosures, which will put downward pressure on home prices, leading more homeowners underwater and more foreclosures and the vicious cycle deepens.
Lower home prices and lower mortgage interest rates also propelled this increase of home sales.
Over the past five years, home sales have declined for four of them.
Homes at risk of foreclosure made up 31 percent of sales. That’s up from 29 percent in July. Many are being bought by investors.
At the same time, activity among first-time buyers, who are critical to reviving the housing market, didn’t budge. First-time buyers made up only 32 percent of sales, matching the July level. They normally make up 50 percent of home sales in healthy markets.
Many people are reluctant to purchase a home more than two years after the recession officially ended. Some can’t qualify for loans or meet higher down payment requirements. Even those with good credit and stable jobs are holding off because they fear that home prices will keep falling. Home sales are also being hurt by a steep decline in first-time buyers