Much anticipated, the news for the housing market came Friday when President Obama signed the extension of tax credits for home buyers and broadening their application.
The tax credits apply to contracts signed no later than April 20th, 2010 that close by June 30th, 2010. To qualify the borrower must have a yearly income of $125,000 or less for individuals and up to $225,000 for couples. Tax credits of up to $8,000 are offered to first time home buyers and now there is a $6500 tax credit for buyers who have owned their current home – valued at less than $800,000 – for at least five of the last eight years. Check out the Federal Housing Tax Credit website for more information.
Last Friday I had the privilege of sitting on a panel for the Luxury Home Sales and Marketing Seminar offered by the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business. The opening comments from a luxury home sales real estate agent set the pace of what proved to be an encouraging and inspiring event. My fellow panelists represented the state of Arizona from Tucson to the West Valley, from the Superstitions to Sedona. Their answers to the moderator’s questions regarding present market conditions were varied but on one subject we all agreed.
The doldrums of 2008 are behind us. And while our clients may have lost a significant portion of their wealth they have a great opportunity to invest in today’s buyer’s market, choosing from a good selection of inventory. Most also agreed, the luxury market, which at its robust best started at $1,000,000, is now perceived to start between $500,000 and $800,000.
REOs and short sales are almost as plentiful at the top of the market as they are at the low end and the last few months have seen buyers are finally stepping back into the market to take advantage of drastically reduced prices. A sales trainer from Toll Brothers (luxury production builders) admitted that in at least one case her company has “incubated” an entire development, literally pulling completed new homes off the market in the hope that waiting it out will improve their chances for higher prices. They may have a long wait. The short sale market that is their competition is forcast to grow in inventory as more and more lenders are deciding the short sale is a better option than a foreclosure. There really may be no better time for a buyer to buy.