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January 26th, 2009 5:16 PM by David W. Welch
As I posted earlier this month, December was a fantastic month for us here in Orlando. One of my thoughts was that a good number of those sales came as a direct result of the first time home buyer tax credit. My concern with that is the possibility that December might have taken some of January's sales. It looks like that may be the case. As of today in the MLS there are only 575 closed sales posted with a median price of $149,000. There are always fluctuations from month to month in the number of sales and the median price, but this is pretty dramatic.
Here is my economic stimulus plan. It would save an awful lot of money compared to some other plans. Rather than the tax credit for first time home buyers, how about a $10,000 down payment assistance for every home purchased this year. There are about 5 million expected home sales this year, so that would put the price tag at $50 billion. It might actually stimulate sales, because there are people who are not be able to purchase a home without some kind of down payment assistance. This does a few things: first it encourages home ownership, second makes a home purchase more affordable, third puts money directly into the hands of consumers who are actually making a purchase, and it potentially reduces the inventory of homes for sale helping to stabilize prices.
In the mean time, I am finding that it is increasingly difficult to purchase bank foreclosures. You have to get your offer in immediately, and it needs to be a good offer. I have written a dozen offers so far this month that have been rejected, or been a day late. The average sales price of the bank owned properties sold so far this month is $116,055 which is about 4.7% less than the average list price is $121,813. The average sales price of all non-bank owned properties is $264,346 which is 9% less than the average list price of $290,219.
David Welch, Orlando Real Estate