26th January 2010

Leaving 2009…Whats Ahead In 2010 For Atlanta Real Estate…

2010 versus 2009

Experts see a mixed bag for 2010, which we will detail in this post, however, one thing is unmistakably clear…if you have a reasonably secure job, and ever wanted to buy your first home, or you are a current homeowner who wants to change homes or buy a  move up home, you better get off the fence and go for it soon!  Now is the time to buy!

Some of the strongest incentives ever to purchase a home exist right now: down payment assistance programs like the Georgia Dream Homeownership Program (I can refer a lender trained and experienced with this program – if you use the wrong lender, trust me, it won’t happen), our current historically low interest rates,  a good selection of bargain properties in almost all areas and price ranges, an $8000 tax credit for first time buyers, plus a $6500 tax credit to existing homeowners who are move-up buyers are all awesome. Its still a strong buyers market and these incentives have heated up the market over the last few months, but… the tax credits are set to expire, and the lending rates are expected to move upward after March 2010.

Significant Trends to Expect in 2010:

More Buyers Entering the Market – Home Buyer Tax Credits End April 30, 2010

In 2009, the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers was a huge topic in the real estate world. The National Association of Realtors, estimates 350,000 homes nationwide were sold to first-time buyers who probably wouldn’t have bought a home if not for the credit. The group also reports that about 47 percent of all home sales in 2009 will be to first-time homebuyers, up from 41 percent in 2008.

Hoping to spur the housing market’s recovery, the federal government extended the tax credit — which was set to expire on Nov. 30 — and gave buyers until April 30, 2010, to secure a purchase contract. The credit was also expanded to include existing homeowners, plus buyers with higher incomes. If the original tax credit brought more first-time buyers into the market, the expanded credit should motivate current homeowners to trade up.

Lending Standards Still Tight

According to the Federal Reserve, fewer banks tightened their lending standards in the third quarter of 2009. However, that doesn’t mean lending standards have gotten looser, either. In 2010, banks will continue to keep the subprime mortgage debacle in mind and require extensive documentation and stellar credit from borrowers looking for the best rates. If you plan on applying for a loan in 2010, take steps to get your finances in order as soon as possible and boost your credit score. FHA is still a very good option if your score is at least 580 – you can still get a loan with only 3.5% down payment.

Rising Mortgage Rates

In 2009, the Federal Reserve bought up a massive amount of mortgage-backed securities, keeping mortgage rates at historic lows for much of the year. However, the Fed is scheduled to end those efforts in March 2010, meaning mortgage rates could jump as much as a full percentage point next year. If you’re considering buying a home, now is the time to take advantage of historically low interest rates. If you’re a current homeowner thinking about refinancing, act now.

Stabilizing Home Values — Prices Expected to Rise in Some Places

According to the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released in November 2009, U.S. home prices have improved for two quarters in a row. The national index rose 3.1 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2009. Likewise, the National Association of Realtors recently reported that median home prices have risen for two consecutive quarters. NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, also predicted that home prices will grow 4 percent in 2010. Some local US markets have farther to go than others to acheive stability, but Atlanta has by various respected indexes shown favorable results compared to many metro areas around the country and local market trackers have shown price increase in some areas – its safe to expect Atlanta Home Prices will follow the overall national trend and rise some more in 2010.

Feel free to contact Robert Whitfield at 678-585-9691 for more information on Metro Atlanta and North Georgia Real Estate and Housing Markets.

 

 

 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 1:09 pm and is filed under Atlanta Housing Market, Buyer Incentives, New Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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