First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Spurs Sales/Stabilizes Home Prices
The results of the fourth quarter HomeGain Survey on Home Prices published below show generally that since the first quarter HomeGain Survey on Home Prices, HomeGain members are of the opinion that home prices are stabilizing and will continue to do so.
Seventy-two percent (72%) of HomeGain members believe that home prices will remain the same in the next six months, up slightly from the 69% of HomeGain members who so believed in the third quarter survey. In the first quarter survey just 46% of HomeGain members believed that home prices would increase or remain the same with only 11% thinking home values would increase.
According to the recent survey, HomeGain Realtors said that 37% of home buyers believe that homes for sale are fairly priced or under priced vs. 36% who believed the same in the third quarter and 36% who believed the same in the first quarter. Conversely, 41% of homeowners think that their homes should be listed 10-20% higher than what their Realtors recommend, up from 38% in the third quarter and up from 36% in the second quarter survey.
The first time homebuyers credit has helped drive sales with 21% of Realtors saying half of their transactions involved a first time homebuyer and only 11% of Realtors noting that none of their transactions involved a first time homebuyer. While the credit has clearly helped Realtors, many expressed concerns over the cost of the credit to tax payers and whether sales would continue once the credit expires later next year.
We also asked our members whether they approved or disapproved of President Obama’s performance so far — 42% approved and 58% disapproved, unchanged from the third quarter and down from the second quarter when the President’s approval rating stood at 57%. The results of the HomeGain poll are substantially similar to the nationwide results of the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Approval Rating Tracking Poll conducted during the same time period as the HomeGain poll that showed the President’s approval rating between 46% and 47%. (Read full press release)
The HomeGain 4th Quarter 2009 Realtor® Survey on Home Prices was conducted from December 1-6.
Questions and results of the fourth quarter 2009 HomeGain Realtor® Home Values Survey (click on each question to see complete results):
- Have home prices increased, decreased or stayed the same in the last year?
- On average, what do homeowners believe that their home is worth?
- How do buyers feel that homes for sale are priced?
- What is the average difference in price between what sellers believe their home to be worth and the amount at which the home gets listed?
- What is the average difference in price between what a home is listed at and what a home sells for?
- In the next six months, will the values of homes in your market increase, decrease or stay the same?
- What percentage of homes for sale are foreclosures in your area?
- What is the average home price in your area?
- What percentage of your clients are first-time buyers?
- How do you as a Realtor think Barack Obama is performing in his role as President?
Realtor Commentary From Question 1 — Have home prices increased, decreased or stayed the same in the last year?
“The Scenic City has bucked the trend of falling home values. Volkswagen and Alstom Power are locating here contributing to modest growth and this area is desirable for seniors who are choosing to downsize.” - Jeff Wishmyer, Prudential Realty Center, Chattanooga, TN
Realtor Commentary From Question 2 — On average, what do homeowners believe that their home is worth?
“We as Realtors need to be more patient with our clients. The seller is frustrated with the drop in value of there home especially when they bought while the market was booming.” - Paula Cohen, Keller Williams Main Line Realty, Upper Darby, PA
“Sellers are finally realizing that their home value has dropped. This realization is necessary to stop the ‘move-up’ home stagnation still being seen.” - Dana Hunzelman, Century 21 Cooper & Associates, Derry, NH
“When the home is priced right, it sells. Homeowners just need to get realistic about the home values and if they owe more than it’s worth they should go for a short sale, because short sale is the people’s bailout!” - Christian Bohyn, MonkeySold, Celebration, FL
“In this economy real estate agents have become the bridge between buyers and sellers. As a bridge we can serve in a way that buyers and sellers have a place to meet in the middle.” - Jon Drews, Century 21 Vista Inc., Fergus Falls, MN
Realtor Commentary From Question 3 — How do buyers feel that homes for sale are priced?
“I think buyers and sellers are sill thinking the home values will continue to decline. Buyers are worried that about an unstable job market.” - John Baker, Coldwell Banker United, Charlotte, NC
“Buyers think prices are still heading down, while sellers think prices are now heading up. It’s our job to bring them together.” - Realtor from West Hills, CA
“Home buyers are very savvy right now. After looking at several homes and with the assistance of their agent they are making acceptable offers and getting good deals.” - Rodger Hardy, Zip Realty, American Fork, UT
“Buyers think an initial offer should be 20 percent below asking price. Sellers think that they need to pad their already unrealistic price by 10-15% for negotiating room. This creates a difficult environment.” - Kathleen Areias, Sparer Cashin Company, Burlingame, CA
Realtor Commentary From Question 5 — What is the average difference in price between what a home is listed at and what a home sells for?
“The difference between what we list a home at and what it sells for is not that high because we constantly update the sellers on the market conditions and urge them to price their homes competitively.” - Nancy Stewart, Long Realty Company, Tucson, AZ
Realtor Commentary From Question 6 — In the next six months, will the values of homes in your market increase, decrease or stay the same?
“The recent trend,especially in the last 8 months has been stabilization with prices bottomed out and in lower ranges even rising a bit in certain areas.” - Paul Moffett, RE/MAX Advantage, Westminster, MD
“Arizona’s real estate market seems to have leveled out but we don’t know if it is a true reading with the tax credit being provided to promote sales.” - Bradley Potter, HomeSmart Realty, Chandler, AZ
“The reality is we haven’t hit bottom yet. We still need to get rid of all of these foreclosures that the Banks have on their books. Once we get rid of most of them………then, and only then, we will start to see an increase in property values!” - Realtor from Stevensville, MD
“My opinion is that the large amount of foreclosure properties that are expected to be placed into the market in early 2010 will further depress property values for non-foreclosure properties throughout 2010.” - Realtor from Atlanta, GA
“I believe that 2010 will be a year that we see either prices remaining steady (in the Nashville area) or possibly decreasing slightly, depending upon inflation, interest rates, and ‘underemployment’ numbers growing.” - Tom Laskey, Bob Parks Realty, LLC, Brentwood, TN
“I feel we are in for a tough 2010 and into 2011. The Governments debt is a terrible thing to leave the next generations.” - Realtor from Brevard, NC
“Until foreclosures become less than 10% of the business, we will not see a true recovery. Prices and market stability will continue to be fluctuating and at risk of falling.” - Wayne Hemmerich, RE/MAX Realty One, Crystal River, FL
“Bakersfield home prices are still decreasing due to the large amount of foreclosures.” - Alice Profeta, Profeta Real Estate Services, Bakersfield, CA, AgentEvaluator Platinum Club agent
“The market is so unstable right now. But if we just hold on, it’ll be sure to come back. This is a lesson well learned for new and seasoned agents.” - Raquel Colvard, Solid Source Realty, Atlanta, GA
“In the Keys, the market is bouncing on the bottom. The number of sales and now prices are up over last year.” - Glen Hoover, Glen Hoover Real Estate Services South Florida, LLC, Key Largo, FL
“Home prices appear to be stabilizing due to the IRS tax credit for first time home buyers. Higher end homes($600k+) may take a little while to clear out our current inventory.” - Jason Schweiger, Real Estate 2000, Seattle, WA
“We are finally seeing a stablization to our housing market.” - Patrick Lane, Century 21 Bonnie Blue, Big Bear Lake, CA
“Seattle was one of the last Major Cities to feel the overall correction. As the National Market begins to see improvement, Seattle’s Real Estate Market will see a quicker recovery as its Economic outlook remains very strong!” - Realtor from Seattle, WA
“I Still think the foreclosures and short sales are driving the market negatively. These under priced homes seem to be the ones that are driving the prices downward as resale clients seek to compete.” - Realtor from Kent, WA
“Hopefully the banks will not release all of their Shadow Inventory after the first of they year! We are just now starting to get a little normal in the greater Sacramento area.” - Bill Boone, Keller Williams Realty, Roseville, CA
“Shortage in inventory is creating an artificial auction mentality and pushing still low values slightly higher.” - Realtor from San Francisco, CA
“Next year I expect to see some slight gains in prices and brisk sales activity.” - Brian Linebarger, Prudential CA Realty, Rodeo, CA
“Home owners in my area are withholding their properties from the market. So, prices remain high.” - Barbara Levy, Coldwell Banker, Berkeley, CA
“Values of homes in this area under $160,000 have increased approximately 1 - 3% in the past year. Those over $200,000 have seen a decrease of about 4 - 6$ in the same time period.” - Realtor from Pocatello, ID
“The market is very good for buyers and will remain good for at least six months and probably as long as a year.” - Jim Swanson, Prudential California Realty, Sacramento, CA
“The Vancouver, Washington area has maintained a moderate foreclosure/short sale market but we have cleared these homes from the market fairly quickly this year. We were at 21months supply in January and are at approximately 5 month supply now.” - Realtor from Vancouver, WA
“In terms of home values we are stable at a temporary bottom, maybe inching up slightly. Everyone still is wondering about the big onslaught of foreclosures, which it is anticipated, will once again lower home prices.” - Realtor from, Fresno, CA
“Prices in most areas have increased except for the ‘worst of the worse’ areas.” - Realtor from Long Beach, CA
“Texas is an exception to the rule in today’s real estate market. Unemployment is significantly lower and job growth is stronger. The relocation statistics reinforce the popularity of the region and the local economy.” - Realtor from Arlington, TX
“I have been hearing for a year that there was a huge backlog of foreclosures coming on the market soon. It hasn’t happened. Because of low inventory, prices in our area have risen more than 10% since early 2009.” - Realtor from Santa Rosa, CA
“I believe the prices will remain stable for at least another year.” - Geri Schierow, Coldwell Banker HomeSale Realty, Wauwatosa, WI
“In Dakota County property values are still decreasing but at a much lower level than previous. 2010 will be a great year to purchase as prices are starting to see some leveling off and buyers can take advantage of the tax credit.” - Realtor from Apple Valley, MN
“The Albuquerque Metro Area, while effected by the economic downturn, has maintained stable home prices. Albuquerque has a diverse and stable economic base.” - William Staab, Keller Williams Realty, Albuquerque, NM
“I specialize in Denver/North area. Several cities,i.e. Broomfield saw 5-mo.’s of consecutive price increases. We are starting to see the market improve.I am optimistic that it will continue, but it depends upon the debt of the nation/inflation.” - Realtor from Westminster, CO
“Homes in Austin are up 38% from last year; I attribute the rise to first time home buyers and those moving up and over, for a house with more value, location and amenities. ‘All is well in Texas; we invented value.’” - Realtor from Austin, TX
“The housing market seems to have finally settled down and I think this market represents the new normal. The wildly inflated home values will not return & the current values seem correct.” - Bryan Tobiason, Realty Executives of Kansas City, Leawood, KS
“REO sales and Short Sale listings remain constant in the area and continue to suppress value appreciation; however, it appears that value have began to stabilize within the Louisville, KY Metro market area.” - Realtor from Jeffersonville, IN
“We are going to have a very hard time in the next 3 years only short sales and forclosures…” - Jay Larson, RE/MAX Leaders of Greenwood Village Colorado, Centennial, CO
“I think the housing market is experiencing the majority of its issues due to lender reluctance. We need the lending market to loosen before the housing market can normalize.” - Diane Aronovic, Red Lady Realty, Crested Butte, CO
“Yes the tax credit may be helping first time homebuyers, But I believe that a majority of these homes will be in our next phase of foreclosures in the next few years, due to the inexperienced buyers whom are living practicly month to month.” - Realtor from Jacksonville, AR
“Areas with a very low foreclosure/short sale rate have increased demand. I assume this is due to low prices, great mortgage rates & the homebuyer tax credit.” - Realtor from Brooklyn, NY
“The first-time home buyer credit was very successful and should be continued through next Fall at least.” - Damian Musello, GreenHomeRealty, LLC, Somerville, MA
“‘We need cash-for-condos’; the US economy is driven by housing, not cars.” - Joy Snyder, Prudential Carruthers REALTORS, Ocean City, MD
“As we saw in the 80’s, federal taxation policies can wreak havoc on the real estate market. The policies of Congress and the current administration may well serve to derail an otherwise recovering economy. Time will tell.” - Ed Smith, RE/MAX Coastal, Destin, FL
“The tax credit has helped my business this year and I am glad that it was extended.” - Jacqueline Watts, Bryant Real Estate, Kansas City, MO
“The home-buyer tax credit has helped, but where are the jobs from that huge tax burden so-called the stimilus bill. We need the jobs more than anything else to help the economy and housing market rebound!” - Joe McAvoy, Virginia Commonwealth Realty, Newport News, VA
“Can’t fix the problem by spending borrowed money on it. That is like paying your Visa with your Mastercard. It is about to tank and prices will go to pre bubble levels in Seattle and that means 1996 prices.” - Realtor from Seattle, WA
“Need to quit adding unnecessary programs which increase the deficit but have no effect on the average American’s well-being. Quit instituting programs using emergency recovery funding but don’t effect our financial security.” - Realtor from Green Valley, AZ
“Should eliminate the $8000 tax credit and the values will settle in and will eventually return the market to where it should be.” - Realtor from Las Vegas, NV
“I just don’t understand why the move-up stimulus is any less than the first time buyer stimulus! What are they thinking?” - Mark Vandervest, TheOregonBroker.com, Beaverton, OR
“I believe the overall economic picture now needs to be looked at. Bits and pieces of improvement are just not enough. $8,000 rebates do no good when you lose your job.” - Frank Beckendorf, Beckendorf Realty Group, Abilene, TX
Realtor Commentary From Question 10 — How do you as a Realtor think Barack Obama is performing in his role as President?
“The country’s job market revolves around the housing industry; our government did right by issuing a sensible tax credit program. I was pleased to see President Obama supported the changes by signing an updated version.” - Mark Handlovitch, ERA Showcase Homes, Pittsburgh, PA
“I commend the President for the work he has done to help America’s economy get back on solid ground. I feel that the tax incentives has dramatically helped the housing market.” - Realtor from Destin, FL
“I believe the current Administration is doing a fantastic job in assisting the real estate market which is the core of our financial stability.” - Yvette Grandison, RE/MAX Metropolitan Realty, Gaithersburg, MD
“President Barak Obama has stimulated the real estate market for many first time homebuyers but has failed to provide the loan modification to assist all the unemployed or under-employed.” - Mitzi Baron-Campbell, RE/MAX Chesapeake, Elkton, MD
“Lenders are using the same tactics that put us in this mess. They are denying mortgages to self employed even if they have 50% to put down. They are contributing to the downgrading of private enterprise and real property in our once great country.” - Realtor from Atlanta, GA
“President needs to concentrate more on real jobs and the small business person rather than bigger government, labor unions, and universal healthcare.” - Realtor from Jacksonville, NC
“I think it is fantastic the the First Time Homebuyer Tax credit was extended. That is the only thing keeping my area going. I commend President Obama!” - Tonya Jones, Solid Source Realty, Lithonia, GA
“I have never been more disappointed with an elected official than with our current president! His policies are going to kill our economy, our real estate market and possibly destroy our country.” - Realtor from Pensacola, FL
“I strongly believe King Obama is doing all he can, as quickly as he can, to destroy America, before Americans wake up.” - Realtor from Pensacola, FL
“The biggest problem are short sales. Unfortunately our government is not doing a good job. Let’s keep people in their homes. The solution is simple. Shave 20% off every mortgage and lower interest rates to 5%.” - Mitch Ribak, Tropical Realty of Suntree, Melbourne, FL
“I am in total disagreement with deploying more troops to Afghanistan.” - Winter Springs, FL
“The government needs to stop the Bail outs and let the market work its self out. Also need to table the whole Health care issue its got people scared and large employers cutting back.” - Doug Tabor, RE/MAX Unlimited, Peoria, IL
HomeGain real estate home values survey results are based on responses of nearly 1000 Realtors in the United States.
*Regions are divided as follows:
- Northeast: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusettes, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia
- Southeast: Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennesee
- Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri
- West: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho and Montana