Home buying traffic is up slightly with the highest demand levels seen in investor-heavy
markets--meaning those who can make an investment in a second home or additional properties are doing do. The Credit Suisse Survey of Real Estate Agents reported another increase in traffic levels in August, primarily due to buyers taking advantage of the first-time buyer tax credit before it expires at the end of November. This combined with the demand from investors looking for below-market-value foreclosures increased the buyer traffic index up to 44.5, from 43.4 in July.
The first-time buyer tax credit of $8000 helping buyers to get “off the fence”--and the pending expiration of the credit seems to be enticing people to move. There is concern that the demand will wane after the credit has expired, but as markets improve, Credit Suisse expects to see more positive momentum.
The prices are still declining on higher-priced homes, but low end priced homes are stabilizing. Prices appear to have bottomed for those homes at the low end and those foreclosed and prices seem to be rising overall in the past 30 days in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., with stable prices in Dallas, Ft. Myers, and near-stable in Phoenix. Agents saw the weakest pricing trends in Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, and New York.
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