It’s Spring!! We know this because the days are longer, birds are singing and the flowers blooming. But a sure sign of Spring are those “Open House” and “For Sale “signs popping up all over town. The housing market is making another push this Spring and as a Realtor, I am optimistic that the Spring of 2010 will be much more active than last Spring.
The Home Buyer Tax Credit is fueling some of this activity. Buyers want to take advantage of the credit as it’s due to expire at the end of April. Any buyer who wants to be eligible must be in contract by April 30th. As a Realtor in Huntington, I can tell you that there are many Buyers and Sellers making the push so they won’t miss out. Most of the buyers taking advantage of the credit are first time buyers, so we are seeing the lower to middle section of the market buzzing. This is great for everyone because as inventory in this section of the market moves other opportunities arise including sellers trading up. This credit is up to $8,000 for first time buyers and up to $6,500 for buyers who have lived in their principle residence consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years. (other caveats apply).
Some other positive news in Real Estate is that the National Association of Realtors reported that in February home sales rose in the Northeast, up 13% on a year-over-year basis, the biggest improvement in the four U.S. regions.
Overall, interest rates remain at historic lows and prices are down. As interest rates start to go up, purchasing power goes down which in turn puts downward pressure on housing prices. A good rule of thumb is that every 1% increase in interest rate creates a 10% decrease in purchasing power. Where a buyer may want to wait and see if prices decline further an increase in interest rates may very well offset that lower price. What does this mean to buyers and sellers? If you plan on moving, now’s a better time than any to make that move.
Carey Rogers is a Licensed Real Estate Agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman in Huntington, New York. She can be reached at (631) 988-4637 or Carey.Rogers@elliman.com or www.prudentialelliman.com/CareyRogers