This past week our listings got an average of 3.4 showings each. Buyers are getting serious and time is running out for many. The spring busy season has arrived and its going to start with a contract surge.
There are two tax credits currently available for home buyers, but the window of opportunity is almost closed. The first is an $8000 credit for first time home buyers and the second is a $6500 credit for repeat buyers that have lived in their current home for at least five years. In case there is any confusion, these are cash back credits NOT deductions. Anyone looking to buy in the next year and that qualifies for one of these two credits is giving up free money by not writing a contract before these credits expire.
The current rules say that in order to get the credit, a buyer must be under contract by April 30. Right now many procrastinators are falsely assuming that the government will extend the credit so there is no rush. Those folks may miss a tremendous opportunity as there is NO indication that the credits will be extended.
In the Charlotte area, pending home sales have already surged by over 17% from last month alone. Stated another way, the number of contracts has increased by over 17% in just one month. I fully expect these numbers to surge in April because of the expiration of the credits.
As an active Realtor, I can attest as new buyers looking to take advantage of the credits seem to be coming out of the woodwork. April will be a busy month for real estate professionals. The increased activity will translate to more home sales. As long as the sales outpace new listings, then we should start to see inventory drop. That will be the next step in our local recovery. Stay tuned to find out if my predictions are correct.