Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Real estate: October home sales up in Hampton Roads

Sales of Peninsula-area existing homes were up 24.2 percent in October, compared to October 2008.

At first blush, it sounds like a drastic improvement. But, real estate agent Bob Sullivan cautioned, October 2008 was a terrible month.

"October of last year is when it really started to go into the toilet," said Sullivan, president of the Virginia Peninsula Association of Realtors.

Nationally, existing-home sales were up 10.1 percent from September, and year-over-year sales were up 20.8 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

A rush to cash in on the up to $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit before it expired Nov. 30 bolstered sales. Since then, legislators have extended and expanded it.

Now, a credit of up to $6,500 is available to qualifying existing homeowners. Both first-time and existing buyers have until April 30 to find a home.

That will keep the housing recovery momentum going, Sullivan said.

Extending the credit to existing homeowners will give them the incentive they need to find another home, Sullivan said.

"They might be able to recoup some of the money they would've lost because of the pricing coming down," he said.

October was the third consecutive month to show year-over-year gains in the number of sales on the Peninsula and Middle Peninsula, and November sales hold promise. Year-over-year pending sales are up 43.6 percent, according to a Real Estate Information Network report.

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Posted by: Kelsey Hoffman

1 comment:

  1. The new credit given to consumers has really shown to help real estate sales. Its really interesting to see how things have improved in such a hard economy.

    Posted By, Meredith Anderson