Local Real Estate Sales Increase

The first quarter results are in for the Folsom Real Estate market, and they show a marked increase in both closed and pending sales.

The number of ‘pending sales’ (those homes for which a contract has been accepted), was at 54 for January, 74 for February and 106 in March, an increase of 43.2% over March 2009.

The number of closed sales has shown a 37.3% increase over the same period last year, while the number of homes listed for sale has dropped by 23%.

More sales? Less inventory? Does this mean the end is in sight? Are we in a recovery? Is it time to pop the corks?

Not so fast, my anxious friend. Low rates, low prices, and the Federal tax credits caused a perfect storm of home buying opportunity, but the winds of change have started to blow.

Prices are expected to remain low, which bodes well for hopeful buyers, but the Federal Reserve has stopped its Mortgage Backed Securities purchase program, which was credited with keeping rates low, at the end of March and the Federal tax credits are expiring at the end of April.

Without the Fed involved, some of the ‘experts’ predict dark days with rates rising sharply, while others foresee little to no upward movement. According to Bankrate.com, today’s 30 year fixed mortgages average 5.16% nationwide, which is down from 5.20% a week ago. Go figure.

As for the $8000 Federal tax credit, while it is scheduled to expire April 30th, there is a new California tax credit, though a bit more complicated, starting May 1. This program offers up to $10,000 to new buyers.

Also note that last week, on Tax Day no less, RealtyTrac announced that banks submitted a record number of foreclosure filings across the country in the first quarter.

So, will the sales trend continue? Time will tell. For now, folks are stepping up to the plate to get a piece of the American dream, and conditions are just right to do so.

Are Folsom numbers similar to your area? Drop me a line. I’ll take a look.