Housing Market Strengthens - 08/27/09


For Immediate Release
8:00A.M. PT, August 27, 2009
Fredrick J. Bond, SVP/Mortgage Division Manager
805.369.5138
fbond@heritageoaksbank.com

(San Luis Obispo, CA)- More economists are forecasting a healthier housing market in the near future. Recently Yale University economist Robert Shiller -who tracks housing prices nationally - said that property values may have reached bottom.

House prices rose this spring in almost half the cities followed by the Case-Shiller housing index. "I was quite taken back" at seeing home price increases, adds Case-Shiller index co-founder Karl Case. "There's been a change in mood" in the market, he notes. "My guess would be that home prices are going to level off," Shiller adds.

Property values fluctuate in different areas due to employment rates and other factors. Yet seeing some strength in real estate nationally shows that now could be a great time to look into making a home purchase.

MORE SALES

Home sales are increasing, adds the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In June NAR reported that pending sales were "up for a third month in a row." NAR expects existing home sales to be higher in 2009 than last year.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, "it is fairly obvious that first-time buyers are responding to the incentives of rock-bottom mortgage rates and the first-time buyer tax credit to pick up relatively cheaply-priced homes." In some areas, he adds, "prospective buyers are competing aggressively with offers on houses."

Having an influx of first-time buyers help guarantee the real estate market's vigor. That's because when someone makes an initial home purchase, it also lets the owner move up.

Low mortgage rates and attractive house prices make it possible to find a home you'll love with affordable payments now. Since we don't know how long both of those conditions will be present, consumers should begin the purchase process soon.

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