This week our listings saw an average of 4.0 showings each. Strong traffic continues in a weak economy. Could it be that buyers are beginning to anticipate the incentives that both the market and the government are getting ready to offer?
Today the US Senate passed their version of an economic stimulus bill that included a $15,000 tax credit to all buyers of a primary residence for the 12 months beginning on the date of enactment. The credit applies at all income levels and does not need to be repaid. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting set of blogs and articles that provide more details.
I have read some comments from news stories saying that $15,000 won’t be enough to stimulate prices. But in Charlotte, North Carolina that money will go a long way and I suspect that if this bill makes it to the president’s desk, there will be a surge of buying activity in our city. We are already seeing some signs of recovery in the preliminary numbers and so this stimulus can only help.
I won’t comment on the others items in the bill. And while I wonder whether or not this $15,000 credit is a good idea when we consider the long term impacts to our national debt, I have no doubt that its passage will improve our current real estate market in the short term.
So, now we wait. The bill must go back to the House to be reconciled with the changes made by the Senate. The real estate market is already attractive with a great selection, affordable prices, and very low interest rates. A $15,000 tax credit is simply the icing on the cake, but it sure is a heck of a lot of icing!