NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Over the past year, the real estate sector has been on somewhat of a roller coaster ride as the federal government has poured billions of dollars worth of incentives its way to add stability. However, recent data indicate the sector is far from being stable.
Most recently, the Commerce Department indicated that new-home sales slumped to an all-time low and the National Association of Realtors stated that sales of previously owned homes unexpectedly dropped 7.2% in January, after witnessing a record decline in the month before. This resulted in overall pending home sales seeing a decline of 7.6% in January.
Despite the extension of government-funded programs, like the first-time homebuyer tax credit, factors such as a weak job market, stricter lending standards, higher fees charged by lenders and a weak consumer sentiment over the health of the economy are taking their toll on the sector.
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