Good news on manufacturing, construction, and home sales today. (See www.AustinMarketInfo.com.) The national economy is showing strength, and more economists are optimistic that the recovery is sustainable. Obviously, the real issue is job creation. In the Austin area we have remained among the strongest in the U.S. in that arena. Time — especially the typically sluggish winter season — will tell, but there is reason for hope.
Related: it appears that tax incentives for home purchases will continue for a few months. The program we have had (10% of purchse price up to $8,000) will continue. In addition, the money says that the program will be expanded to offer $6,500 to move-up buyers who have owned their current homes for at least five years. I believe that the first program ($8,000) has drawn most first-time homebuyers who were already within a year or so of buying homes. If the $6,500 incentive for moving up becomes reality, that should have an impact. The probable bad news is that this will accelerate planned purchases into 1Q and 2Q 2010, leaving a hole in the usually-very-busy summer months.
There is every reason to believe that home values in most of the U.S. will begin to climb again next year. Home prices, at least in Central Texas, will be increasing next Spring and Summer, and mortgage interest rates are almost certain to increase next year. No Realtor(r)-bias involved: The next six months will be a great time to buy real estate in most U.S. markets.