In 2010 we have seen sales of pre-owned homes fall 0.6% in February from the month prior, according to the National Assn. of Realtors in Washington. To be prepared for the current market stay plugged into your InvestorCompsOnline account to access essential real estate comps and valuation information.

Given that home sales have struggled since December, when they plunged 16.7% from the prior month, the result of slow activity following a surge last fall as buyers scrambled to take advantage of a federal tax credit for first-time purchases. The tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers had an initial expiration of Nov. 30, though Congress extended it through April and expanded it to include up to $6,500 for current homeowners.

Unfortunately the tax credit funds ran out and left the housing market soft. In addition, the extended credit has appeared to have little to no effect on the market to date.

Previously owned homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.02 million units in February, down from 5.05 million in January. That was 7% higher than the 4.69-million-unit pace of February 2009.

Inventory rose 9.5% to 3.59 million homes for sale, an 8.6-month supply at the current pace. Raw unsold inventory is 5.5% below a year ago. Given these sales statistics the after repair value knowledge gained using your InvestorCompsOnline account will prove valuable in the coming months.

A sign of broad home price stabilization is if a surge of home buying is seen in comparison to the fall in the months that lead to the original tax credit deadline. This will mean enough inventory has been absorbed to ensure this promising step forward. Using InvestorCompsOnline account can give you the edge you need to be prepared!

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