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28 May 2010

Week in Review: Things We Liked from the Week That Was

With Memorial Day this weekend, the perfect storm is setting in for the summer home buying season. Riding the tails of a 7.6% increase in sales of existing homes in April, agents need to take advantage of the season and help sellers spruce up their outdoor areas and to communicate with buyers on what an ideal time it is to buy (for reasons like falling interest rates and an improving economy, among others). For buyers, acting fast is crucial because we are not seeing the price free-fall from the recession. While Zillow’s Q1 Real Estate Market Reports did contain a few bright spots regarding the housing market, we continue to have plenty of cause for concern. As many of you well know, we still need supply. How can we convince home owners considering selling to put their homes on the market now?

There was plenty of good news regionally this week. In Maine, home sales jumped a whopping 63 percent last month. Sales of existing homes in Boston rose 41.8 percent, in Pittsburgh 42.2 percent, in Portland 49.2 percent, and in New York and its surrounding suburbs 39.6 percent. Wow! Also, in California house prices rose 21 percent in April from a year earlier as forecloses fell. Folks in the Midwest and South, are you seeing similar trends?

A report from Zillow found that foreclosed homes typically sell for an average 20 to 30 percent discount. It’s no wonder, then, that auctions have increased by about 10 percent a year since the early 2000s.

On another note, the FHA guaranteed 1.9 million loans last year, beating out competitors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They’ve been working overtime!

Finally, just a little reminder of what our job is all about: finding people a home. Enjoy the holiday!

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