Thursday, February 26, 2009

EEEW, January!

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.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Well, after a surprisingly quick compromise Congress moves to put the finishing touches on an economic stimulus bill boasting nearly 800 billion dollars worth of stimulation! Minus a $15,000 tax credit that was expected to encourage home buying. Looks like that provision was chopped out to appease some lawmakers on board. What we have here is something that everyone can dislike. Republicans dislike the spending on many of the programs, Democrats have given up on several programs to appease the Republicans, and the President will not get some of his projects regarding education in the package.

The National Association of Realtors released this press piece today which covers some of the bills highlights:

On a bright note, the first time home buyer tax credit of up to $7500 will no longer need to be repaid under this new bill. A collective "YEAH" can now be heard from many first time home buyers. Although I doubt that will be enough to break loose many of the buyers that have been avoiding the market. Time will tell...hopefully there is some left!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Senate OKs $15,000 Bonus for Home Buyers

Is this good news for the housing market? Time will tell – but as lawmakers struggle to pass housing bills, the loss of jobs across the country continues to drag down all the efforts. With interest rates climbing, despite efforts to keep it low – who knows how long it will take to settle down. One thing is for sure – it will begin to settle and improve. Visit often for updates on how this bill can help you in purchasing and / or selling your home.

"Housing could get a big boost from the latest addition to the mammoth stimulus bill working its way through Congress.

Senate legislators unanimously approved a proposal Wednesday that would allow a tax credit for home buyers of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 tax break but only for first-time homebuyers.

"It is time to fix housing first," said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-G.

Isakson's office said the proposal would cost the government an estimated $19 billion. In all, the stimulus is now topping an estimated $920 billion.

In an op-ed that appears in Thursday's Washington Post, President Barack Obama painted a dire picture if Congress fails to move quickly to pass the stimulus bill.

"This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse," Obama wrote in the op-ed titled, "The Action Americans Need."

Source: The Associated Press, David Espo (02/05/09)