Wow, a lot has happened since I’ve had a chance to post. First a few updates: 2009 has been an interesting year. There have been ups and downs in the real estate market just like with everything else. We started the year with a high rate of foreclosures and short sales. While these remain higher than normal, we’ve actually seen the numbers of new foreclosures and short sales fall through the summer. Many attribute this to loan modifications – people are attempting to re-finance into better loan terms rather than let homes go into foreclosure.
Another positive point in the market today is the $8,000 government incentive for first time homebuyers. Many of you might remember the $7,500 incentive offered in 2008 as a short-term repayable loan. Well, in 2009, the government raised the ante and turned that incentive into an $8,000 dollar-for-dollar tax rebate. They even went so far as to allow filers to claim the rebate on 2008 taxes VIA an amended return and get access to the money this year rather than waiting for spring of 2010.
Â Despite these positive signs, the market still has declined through 2009 at the rate of approximately 1% per month. Inventory remains high and the available buyer pool remains low. Further, lenders have made it increasingly more difficult for buyers to qualify for loans.
Overall, 2009 has been an interesting year in real estate so far. My goal in the months ahead is to begin updating my online information and to continue presenting the latest news and tips going forward.