Real Estate Blog & Resources

10 Most Stable Housing Markets

Again, 4 of Southstar Communities®' housing markets were represented when PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. <> released its rather bleak first quarter 2009 Economic and Real Estate Trends Report <> , earlier this month, they included a list of the 10 most stable housing markets among the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the nation.

PMI's US Market Risk Index looks at the nation's largest MSAs, using economic, housing and mortgage market factors to evaluate whether their home prices will be lower within the next two years.

Video Tours Online

Many property owners have turned to online videos to take advantage of the Internet's influence. In fact, ABC News featured a story on Good Morning America's On the Front Lines American Housing on 02/19/2009 showing the increasingly creative ways sellers are presenting their homes to prospective buyers on the Internet.

The Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009

Six of Southstar Communities®' active markets were recently named "The Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009" by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.

Raleigh #6 Housing Market in the Nation

Another state capital with multiple universities, Raleigh was still adding jobs at a 1.9 percent annual rate though the third quarter of last year. With a population of more than 1 million, it also has one of the highest rates of population growth of any top metro market in the country over the last five years: nearly 5 percent annually. Though the price of a median home here, $221,900, is above the national average, it is well below other cities in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The metro area has added roughly 68,000 jobs since 2005, and employment held steady last year.

Credit Market is Thawing

Credit is beginning to open up for well-run companies. Cisco was the latest company to take advantage of improving credit markets and lower interest rates. Cisco raised $4 billion yesterday by selling bonds, a significant boost for the economy.

Administration unveiling bailout overhaul

The Obama administration has promised to aggressively combat the current financial crisis and just unveiled a program that could mobilize well over $1 trillion in public and private support to get the frozen credit markets functioning again.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday the new plan would bring the full force of the federal government to bear in a partnership with the private sector. The new plan would greatly expand an effort to unclog credit markets that provide loans to consumers and businesses. Funding for this effort would see a huge increase — from $20 billion up to $100 billion — according to administration officials.

Buying a home is still the best place to put your money

Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters now say buying a home is still the best investment most families can make, despite the continued instability of the U.S. housing market. The new Rasmussen Reports survey marks a 10-point jump in confidence in home buying since early December when just 63% said a home was the best investment for most families.

Proposed $15,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit

: The best news for the housing market is the Senate’s proposed changes to the Home Buyer tax credit. The senate’s proposal would more directly impact the upscale home market. While the House’s version of the tax credit would have been good for the economy by targeting first time homebuyers, the senate’s proposal affects buyers in the upscale housing market. The senate’s version proposes:

• 10% up to a $15,000 tax credit if they purchase within a year
• Open to existing homeowners
• No income limits for homebuyers
• Does not require the tax credit to be paid back unless home is sold within 1st 2 years
• The credit is nonrefundable meaning you can claim the credit if you owe taxes
• Credit can be spread out over 2 years of taxes

Pending home sales post increase of 6.3 %

The National Association of Realtors says pending U.S. home sales rebounded in December, as buyers snapped up properties at deep discounts, especially in the South and Midwest. The trade group said Tuesday its seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for preowned homes for December rose 6.3 percent to 87.7 from an upwardly revised November reading of 82.5. That's better than the 82.3 reading economists expected, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. The reading also was up 2.1 percent from December 2007.

Citibank Plans to spend bulk of TARP money on boosting the housing market

Citibank announced this morning how they plan to spend $36.5 billion of the TARP money the received to aid the economy. The good news for the housing market is that the bulk of that $36.5 billion is earmarked for the housing industry! They have set aside $27.5 billion to aid the residential housing market, with $8.2 billion going directly to issue mortgages to aspiring homeowners and the rest going to buy securities backed by mortgages and to buy mortgages in the secondary market. Other large banks also received TARP money to aid the economy are Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America and have not yet released reports on planned spending, but their spending should also benefit the housing industry.