Like most other markets, the elements that impact it are varied and require time to take their toll. And like anything else, it is time and patience that brings about restoration. After being beaten about, the housing market in the United States is currently experiencing some consistently positive trends that are steadily bringing us back to normalcy.
First time home buyers are really starting to come out in droves to take advantage of the home prices. The Pending Home Sales Index for contracts signed in March, increased 3.2 percent to 84.6 from a level of 82.0 in February, and is 1.1 percent higher than March 2008 when it was 83.7.
Homebuyers are not only seeing the opportunities to buy, but to start out with a trade-up home! In many circumstances, they are able to skip the "starter home step" in favor of an upgraded home at the same price! The $8000 tax credit is a tremendous incentive and the prospect of the transformation of this credit into down payment monies is also an exciting possibility. And not to forget, in the context of this incentive, a first time homebuyer is actually anyone who has not purchased a primary residence in three years!
According to the National Association of Realtor's Housing Affordability Index, there is an increase over last year by 30.8 percentage points. The Pending Home Sales Index in the South rose 8.5 percent to 93.2 in March and is 7.7 percent above a year ago.
NAR President Charles McMillan said, "For buyers who've been on the sidelines and have good jobs, the market has never looked more favorable. Homeownership has always offered immediate benefits and long-term value, but the advantages in today's market are unique."
So what we've got here are indices and opportunities that are really adding up to positive energy and a dramatic increase in consumer confidence. We're moving in the right direction!