While a completely stable housing market is still a ways off, according to experts, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that July sales of existing homes rose to an annual rate of 4.47 million units. This was just under analysts' expectations of a 4.52 million-unit rate.
The NAR added that tight lending standards and less available inventory have also hindered the market, so housing could be even stronger without those roadblocks. If conditions were optimal, under current demographics, existing home sales could be in the 5 to 5.5 million range, reported the agency.
"The housing sector has turned a corner, and demand will continue to improve," Michelle Girard, an economist at RBS in Connecticut said to Reuters. "The data also underscores the fact that improvement will be gradual."
With previously owned homes becoming more popular, lenders should consider investing in loan calculator software. This will ensure that borrowers will be given a repayment plan that best suits their needs and can continue to help push the market toward recovery.
Even with this small light of hope for the housing industry, many households are still in debt and owe more on their homes than they are worth, which makes them harder to sell.
Distressed home sales accounted for 24 percent of July's sales in the industry, reported the NAR, which was down from 25 percent in June. According to Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York, this could be helping to lift sale prices.
With underwater borrowers still a hindrance to the market, lenders would be wise to ensure that they have an amortization calculator, which can assist in creating plans that will give borrowers the best chance at not losing control of their finances.