Home Buying in Allentown>Question Details

Dina, Home Buyer in Allentown, PA

Is the housing market picking up now? Are more people purchasing homes?

Asked by Dina, Allentown, PA Mon Feb 9, 2009

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17
Dina,
We are seeing it p[ick up here in Orlando! The Bank-owned homes are driving our market!
Rick.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 10, 2009
With the low rates, low prices, sellers concessions in some instances, first time buyer incentives, the market is starting to pick up. Thank goodness for the warm weather this past weekend. That typically brings about the first flourish of activity at the South Monmouth Shore markets!
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 10, 2009
Dina,

Real Estate is specific right down to the neighborhood. Your questionis too broad to garner a true response.

Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
Realmart Realty - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell Your Home
$395 FLAT FEE MLS
Ranked #20 out of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth/Ocean County MLS in 2008
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hi Cathy,

You might want to compare January 2009 with January 2008. A lot of people try to close in December for tax reasons. I usually try to compare time periods year-to-year to keep the data consistent.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Agent of the Year 2008
Owner: Sands Appraisal Service, Inc.
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
web: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hi Dina,

I just posted Middlesex County real estate statistics for January at http://yourhousefast.com/members-only--------.asp .

The number of Sold homes in January has decreased from December (-31.2%).
It is interesting to see that both the median sold price and average sold price went up (+4.7% and +6.7% respectively) in January.

Sold price/asking price ratio also increased back to 95.00%.

Days on market decreased about 6% versus last December, down to 80 days, meaning it takes less than 3 months in average to go under contract.. Note that there is usually a correlation between DOM and sold price. Meaning they usually move in the opposite direction. This is more obvious when charting with longer time frame.

Cathy C.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Dina, Perhaps the information on the Federal Housing Finance Agency site will help you form an opinion.
http://www.fhfa.gov/
This site is also interesting reading..http://www.housingpredictor.com/
Interesting to keep an eye on..http://mortgage-x.com/general/rate_trend.asp
This might also help you find information......http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/ahs/ahs.html

Hope some of this helps, Dunes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hi Dina, The sales in my area are picking up. Investors are starting to put in cash offers on homes that are priced right and ready to close. I work mainly with REO properties and the buyers are 75% cash investors and 25% owner-occupied buyers (203k/FHA). We are getting a lot of interest from buyers and clients looking to purchase at the deep discounts in the area. If you are seriously ready and approved to buy, find an aggressive realtor in your area and make it happen. I really believe that sales are up, while prices are down and interest rates are low make a great combination to get out there and buy!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
The price of homes is still too high for most of the customers I have been been out with showing homes. But, there seems to be buyers moving ahead because three homes that I showed last week are now under contract and one foreclosure my client put an offer on has five other back up according to the listing agent. I guess I just need wealthier clients ;-)
Web Reference: http://GregoryBain.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Dina,

Real Estate is local as well as seasonal. To answer your question directly.......YES. The housing market in the Western part of NJ and Eastern PA is showing increased activity. There are a number of factors that contribute to this:
- Pricing has come down making homes more afforable
- Interest rates have come down a bit affecting affordability
- There has been pent up demand. Buyers waiting on the sidelines looking at affordability and now finding it.
- There has been a historical increase in activity in February that runs through the end of March...slows down a bit then kicks back into gear near the end of April.
- Local inventory (in my area) decreased a lot at the end of 2008 and those homes that were in inventory were a bit "stale" and overpriced, however, the inventory is climbing with "fresh" inventory that is more market priced.
- The Holiday season is over.
- People are still having babies and need more bedrooms or getting divorced, passing away, moving for jobs, downsizing, etc...life goes on. So with more affordable pricing (asking and interest rates) buyers are more interested and along with that interest have an increased sense of urgency as they look at the more affordable inventory.
- Cash buyers are starting to enter the market. They feel this is a buying (or stealing) opportunity depending on your perspective.
- There is a lot of activity in the "first time home buyer" price range which is the start of the domino effect.

You indicated that you are a "buyer"...my advice is to find the right property and do it! There are a lot of "moons in aligment" for a qualified buyer. Enoy the prospects of a new home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hi Dina,

I think it is definitely picking up here in northern NJ. Our office is getting way more phone calls than late 2008. However buyers are generally making their "final and best" offer right off the bat. I notice that negotiating is at a minimum. This is a great time saver for us as Realtors, however sellers are usually not happy when they can't get the buyer to up their offer very much.

It is really a no-nonsense market right now. I kind of like it actually.

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Agent of the Year 2008
Owner: Sands Appraisal Service, Inc.
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
web: http://www.marcpaolella.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Dina,
Here in Central Florida ( Orlando) its busy with buyers. I am seeing cash buyers now more than I have in a long while. Of course the prices are low so they are taking advantage of the market.
So in a word YES!
Rick.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hi Dina,

Great question. The real estate market is the best it's been in many, many years. I am so excited for any consumer who is looking to either sell or buy.

In years past, buyers didn't really have many options. For every home there were 4 buyers so buyers didn't have time, (if they wanted to buy then) to compare other homes or to take some time to think about things. They had to make a decision. That was just how it was. There were not enough homes for buyers which put the sellers pretty much in control. Now, there are plenty of homes for buyers to choose from, interest rates are at an all time low, buyers can compare homes and have time to think or discuss their options with loved ones.

As for sellers, its a great time for them as well as long as they are realistic. Prices are going back to what they actually should be and not for what they never should have never been in the first place.

So, to answer your question, yes, the market is picking up and I find that many more people are purchasing homes.

If you are looking to buy, I'd say get out there.

Good luck.

Renee Porsia
Associate Broker
RE/MAX ACTION REALTY
(215) 669-0589 Direct
(215) 358-1100 Office Ask for Renee
http://www.reneeporsia.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
In my service area, southern Ocean County and northern Atlantic County, I have seen more activity than lasy year. As William said not near the prices of a few years ago.

I have found many of the investor I work with are back out looking and purchasing. That says to me, that there's opportunity out there when homes are priced right for this market.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hi Dina, more buyers are out now and activity is picking up which makes me optimistic for the Spring market. In my area, the low to mid price points are the market, the higher (ie, over a million) price point is sluggish to dead. As the mid points loosen up though this should allow those homeowners to trade up and we should be a positive affect on the upper end.

Pricing remains the most critical aspect of all - yesterday I visited a new listing with a buyer - in Bridgewater, priced below market, seller already has one offer over list with more to come. Smart pricing carries the day and if the home is desirable and stands out among the inventory, it can - and may very well - sell quickly.

Best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Dina: You seem to be so unsure about "conditions." The industry is in deep trouble, over all. You know that if you watch TV. Some areas are much worse than others. Some homes in the Central NJ area are coming on the market and some are selling. Not near the volume or the inflated prices of three years ago.

I've already explained, as have many others, why buying or selling a house in this market is an individual decision, based on personal lifestyle wants and needs, personal economics and the ability to find what you want at a price you can afford.

For some, the decline in house prices is a golden opportunity. For others, the inability to get what they paid for the property a couple of years ago, a financial disaster, since their personal financial plan included the ability to cash out on a situation that never came to fruition and they cannot support their rising interest costs.

My advice: Stop asking questions with obvious answers, look at your own situation and move forward as best you can. You will know when the economy picks up just as soon as real estate professionals and you will have a better idea of your own personal financial situation than we do.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
I personally have had more buyers contact me in recent months due to the interest rates dropping in the 5% range and because of the $7500 tax credit for first time home buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
the news says yes.

one realtor told me january was much better than last year.

it is still a buyer's market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
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