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Housing and Economic Forecast Points to Rising Activity

Home sales are expected to stay on an uptrend through 2012, although the performance will be uneven with mortgage constraints weighing on the market, according to experts at a residential real estate forum today at the REALTORSĀ® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo here.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said existing-home sales have been underperforming by historical standards and will rise gradually but unevenly. “If we just hold at the first-quarter sales pace of 5.1 million, sales this year would rise 4 percent, but the remainder of the year looks better,” Yun said. “We expect 5.3 million existing-home sales this year, up from 4.9 million in 2010, with additional gains in 2012 to about 5.6 million — that’s a sustainable level given the size of our population.”
Mortgage interest rates should rise gradually to 5.5 percent by the end of the year and average 6.0 percent in 2012 — still relatively affordable by historic standards.

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Selling Season in Savannah

Those thinking that it is still a “Buyers Market” seem to think that National reports on falling prices applies to all markets–not so! In many markets, prices are slowly inching up and if a buyer doesn’t step up and pay the price, someone else will surely do it!

THE FACTS: Prices have stabilized in many segments of the real estate market and are starting to shift upwards….Inventories are narrowing as prices have reached the lowest levels in years and sales took an upward trend in many markets. The older, more distressed houses that are selling right now are those that have been priced at the lowest levels in order to move them. It is working, and smart investors are fearless when it comes to buying these homes–the potential is tremendous for new development in these properties….builders are buying these homes, sometimes in multiples, in order to be in a postion to build when the market normalizes. The areas that are still suffering are those feeling the after-effects of foreclosure–healing in these areas has been stifled by the negative affects on prices of neighboring properties

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