HAR Housing Report 2009 Released

Spring Upsurge Forecasted

Last week, the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) released the year-end housing report for 2009. While home sales declined for the third year in a row in Houston, the worse appears to be over and a spring surge in home sales is predicted by real estate experts due to the home buyer tax credit and low mortgage rates.

HAR reported a 7.3 percent drop in the number of homes sold in Houston last year with the median home price up just .7 percent to $153,000. The same sales figures for the Northeast Houston markets served by Keller Williams Realty Northeast had a slightly different picture.

“Home sales in the areas that we primarily serve out of the Keller Williams Northeast office fared better or were on par with the Houston market overall last year,” said Lisa Dempsey, senior team leader at Keller Williams Realty Northeast. “We have weathered the storm pretty well.”

In 2009, HAR area #32 (Kingwood) was down just -1.3 percent for home sales and the median home price was flat versus the previous year at $174,900. Comparing 2008 to 2009, Kingwood’s home sales have done better than the Houston market overall, notes Dempsey.

Atascocita, one of the fastest growing housing areas in the country, had 2009 results on par with the rest of the Houston market. In 2009, HAR area #1 (Atascocita/Humble) saw an 8.4% decline in home sales and a slight drop in median price to $150,000.

HAR area #40 (New Caney/Porter/East Montgomery County) achieved the best comparable sales figures of the three Northeast Houston areas. Home sales were up 2.9 percent in 2009 and the median price of a home rose 6.9 percent to $147,300.

Dempsey is very optimistic about the 2010 real estate forecast. “With the government tax incentives, all indicators are that our local real estate sales will take off this spring,” she says.  “Home buyers will be coming out early to meet the tax credit deadline in April.”

To stimulate the economy, the government is offering an $8,000 credit to first-time home buyers and a $6,500 credit to repeat buyers. The catch is that buyers’ income levels must be $125,000 or less for a single person or $225,000 for couples filing jointly. The contract must be in hand by April 30 and the closing by June 30.

USA Today confirmed last week that because of this stimulus, the home buying season which typically runs March to May, is expected to be moved up to February and March to meet the deadlines. Fueling this prediction, the newspaper pointed out that the average time to get a home loan processed is currently taking about eight weeks, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Because of these factors, Dempsey says that now is the best time to contact a real estate agent to get your home ready to put on the market and take advantage of the spring surge of home buyers. Contact Keller Williams 281-358-4545 or www.clickKWne.com  

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