What will 2010 bring for home sales?

One of the million dollar questionRcolumn_investorss for this year is what’s going to happen with the real estate market? Many wonder if home prices will still decline, plateau or actually rise?

My thought for this coming year, especially in the first couple of quarters is that we will see a slight increase in home sales. With the extension and expansion of the Home Buyer Tax Credit till April 30, 2010, I think those who are buying are doing it now rather than later this year.

Traditionally the winter months tend to slow down, however home buyers, especially those that can qualify for the tax credit cannot wait till this spring to start looking for a home. They need to be doing it now.

In the Grand Junction area we have seen 5 consecutive months of declining inventory. Meaning less homes are listed on the market. It certainly is still a buyers market, however the market is not as saturated as it once was. If this trend continues we will start to see a balanced market in our area.

Below are some comments about what 2010 will bring for home prices. I don’t know about you, but I’m a glass half full kind of person, so I expect to see great things for 2010!

Some real estate researchers are forecasting that home prices will fall again in 2010.

· Fiserv Lending Solutions, a financial analytics firm, predicts that prices will decline an average of 11.3 percent in 342 of the 381 markets it covers.

· Moody’s Economy.com foresees another 8 percent drop, with Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada feeling even more pain.

· Shari Olefson, author of Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream, predicts a national average decline in prices of about 10 percent in 2010.

· Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and the most bearish of the bears, says real estate prices could possibly fall another 30 percent before they hit bottom.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun sees it all differently. He predicts home prices will rise more than 3 percent in 2010.

“The headwind we face is rising mortgage interest rates,” Yun says, “but the compensating factors will be the home buyers tax credit in the first half of the year and increased job creation in the second half.”

Source: CNNMoney.com, Les Christie (01/01/2010)

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