Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Big Day In Real Estate News

Lot’s of Real Estate News Today, so right to it . . .

The Senate Close to Deal Replacing Homebuyer Tax Credit that expirres December 1. The deal replaces the expiring $8,000 tax credit for first- time homebuyers with a smaller one that would expand access to so-called step-up purchasers, two people familiar with the matter said.

The deal would reduce the size of the tax credit to 10 percent of the sale’s price, capped at $7,290, the people said. The credit would be available on home purchases that are under contract by April 30, and borrowers would have 60 days more to close the sale. The existing credit is due to end Nov. 30.

The bigger part of the proposed credit is the change in the income levels. The income eligibility for first-time homebuyers would remain the same at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples but the big change is for the income criteria for step-up buyers. This would include a whole new set of buyers and increase the eligibility to $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

For Alameda buyers the change in income level will allow more buyers for the first time to take advantage of the Federal housing push. Alameda’s home prices made it very difficult for a first time home buyer to qualify for a loan and the credit.

This is one of three proposal lawmakers are trying to push regarding housing. Lawmakers are trying to attach the Senate legislation, which is also being considered by leaders in the House, to a bill extending unemployment benefits.

The Case-Schiller report came out today and reported home prices rose in August for the third straight month, a rapid pace of recovery that surprised economists and raised questions about how long the trend can last.After a steep three-year descent, home prices rebounded this summer at an annualized pace of almost 7 percent, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index.

The upside is affordability has improved creating an opportunity for some buyers that were priced out of the market and investors. Home prices have returned to quaint 2003 levels, according to Standard & Poor’s.

We have seen locally that the Island median and average prices have fallen to $517,000 and $562,064 respectively for September, but are not even close to January’s median of $457,000 and March’s average of $502,720.

Finally a week after the National Association of Realtors reported showing a big jump in sales of existing homes last month, a government report says new home sales declined in September. Sales of single family homes fell 3.6 percent from August levels, and were down 7.8 percent from September of 2008, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The report also says the number of new houses for sale at the end of September nationwide was 251,000, representing a 7.5 month supply. That is the smallest number of new homes on the market since November 1982, according to Bloomberg data.
The National Association of Realtors last week reported sales of existing homes, which make up the vast majority of home sales, jumped 9.4 percent
Neither report breaks out sales by metropolitan area.

Locally, Alameda has seen increasing sales:
June 41
July 39
August 52
September 53

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