This is probably the most common question I am asked as we launch into an exciting new year in real estate. Everyone is happy to be done with 2009 and to look forward with hope to a much better year. The most common answer I hear from various experts is that, in general, don't expect much different from last year. I think it's better than that in our special corner of the LA area.
Here is my personal experience so far since the beginning of this year, a bit over 3 weeks.
I've taken two listings, one of which hasn't come on the market yet. Sellers are seeing that the prices aren't necessarily as dismal as this time last year, so it might be a good time to sell and figure out a good next step. I've been on about 9 listing appointments and several of them may decide to move forward in the next month or two. I also opened escrow with some people who have been looking hard for many months.
Of the two listings in Eagle Rock that I have on the market now, we are having a good turnout at our open houses. That means over 30-40 people at the $699,000 listing at 5320 Rock View Terrace at each the last 3 open houses. Yesterday was the first open house for 4902 Wiota, listed for $429,000, and we had over 60 people!
So the first-time buyer crowd is out in force for the under $500,000 price range, with good interest for higher price ranges as well. And we don't have just looky-loos walking through (though you are always welcome at my open houses), we have serious talk of offers at both properties.
The First-Time Buyer Tax Credit deadline of April 30, 2010, is having a positive effect both on buyers and on sellers. I think there is a real urgency to take advantage of that opportunity, so buyers are about to have a better choice of interesting properties to consider. The inventory is extremely low right now as properties are being snapped up.
For you homeowners who have been in your primary residence 5 of the last 8 years, you have a very brief opportunity for a tax credit as well. Â Check out my previous blogpost at http://www.tracyslarealestate.com/federal-tax-credit-for-home-buyers-expanded-and-approved-for-eagle-rock-home-buyers. You can also go to www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com for the complete information.
But whether or not you qualify for tax credits, this year is starting off with an active real estate market fueled by relatively low interest rates and prices higher than last year, but lower than the peak. Opportunity is everywhere!