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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Housing Market Looking Up

County, State Sales, Prices Increase

By Dennis Phillips
POSTED: May 5, 2009

Jan R. Murray, Chautauqua County Board of Realtors Inc. executive officer, said March 2008 housing numbers compared to March 2009 showed an increase in the number of homes sold by 3.9 percent and the median price increase from $61,700 to $69,000 - an 11.8 percent increase.
''It is a pretty good jump,'' she said. ''In November and December 2008, we noticed things were slow a bit, but with the brutal winter we didn't know how much was due to the economy or the weather. Things are taking off now compared to last year at this time. The increase is a good sign.''
On the state level, the New York State Association of Realtors Inc. reported that March featured a 14.1 percent increase in home sales compared to February and the statewide median rose 6 percent to reach its second highest level in the past 12 months.
''It is important to note that buyers who are waiting for the theoretical 'bottom' of the market have already missed it,'' said Duncan R. MacKenzie, NYSAR chief executive officer. ''Prices have been fairly stable for the past 12 months and are now expected to begin to climb slightly. The market typically gains momentum in the spring and summer months.''
Murray said with low mortgage rates and moderate prices, it is a great time to invest in the housing market. Plus, if you're a first-time buyer there is a possible $8,000 housing credit thanks to President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan.
The latest federal economic stimulus plan includes the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers who purchase a home on or after Jan. 1 and before Dec. 1. Unlike previous tax credits for first-time buyers, this one doesn't have to be repaid.
The $8,000 tax credit is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that was recently signed into law by Obama. The National Association of Realtors estimates the new tax credit will boost first-time buyer home sales by 300,000 this year.
''This is a good incentive to buy,'' Ms. Murray said. ''If you're on the fence about buying a home, this should help make the decision.''

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1 comment:

Richard Stabile Bergen County Real Estate said...

It is great to hear as I look at blogs around the country that the market is finally picking up. Bergen County New Jersey where I sell and build has been picking up also. It took a little longer than I would have hoped, but we are very dependent on Jumbo loans. They were not available for a while now we can get them with good credit and minimum of 25% down on average.