Well, the reports are out – and they are hideous! It seems like all those buyers were waiting for that stimulus package to come out, before making any moves on their home purchase. Locally, our January sales represent a 19.5% decline in number of homes sold compared to January of 2008. We also saw a decline of the average sales price by -18.44% and our Gross Volume is down by a whopping -34.32% meaning that those homes that did sell in January took a beating on their price.
On a brighter note, first time homebuyers can now enjoy an up to $8,000 tax credit that they do NOT have to pay back. There are some income restrictions, depending on how much you recorded on your taxes last year…check line 37 of your 2008 returns. So now we have some homes with some pretty attractive pricing, mortgage rates that are averaging around 5.25% - although someone needs to pet that cat to get it to settle down some. Add to all that the tax credit and we would expect to see these elusive buyers beginning to poke their heads out again.
Of course, some positive gains in the job front would go a LONG way to smoothing the road.