Sunday, July 26, 2009

Buyers show continued confidence in the housing market. Sales, new starts are up and incentives help ease the way home.

The saying goes “Home is where the hearth is” and it looks like an increasing number of homebuyers will have their very own hearth soon. We gage confidence by the number of satisfied homebuyers who now have their very own place to feel secure, comfortable and to grow. We gage confidence by the number of home sellers who are able to sell their properties at a reasonable price and feel secure moving on to the next chapter of their lives.

But just to add numbers to our “people quotient,” the latest reports show existing home sales rose for the third consecutive month, up 3.6 percent from June to July, and prices declined less in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median existing single home price came in at $181,600. First-time buyers are making their mark–they rang up 29 percent of the sales and helped to increase buyer visits by 12 percent from a year ago. New home starts and permits are up too, a gain of 3.6 percent in overall starts and an 8.7 percent increase in permits.

Certainly the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit has helped the housing market begin its recovery, and there are a number of other incentives out there that will help buyers feel more confident. In the St. Charles region the Economic Development Center of St. Charles County offers, through its subsidiary program HOME St. Charles, a “Welcome Home Incentive Program” to help buyers with closing costs associated with the purchase of a newly constructed single family home. This incentive is for first-time buyers or new residents moving into St. Charles County.

The initiative offers $500 to qualifying buyers who have a $500 match from the builder, banker or mortgage broker. For more information on this incentive, go to, but be sure to come in to talk with us about this program and the many more incentives that make buying, selling and living in St. Charles County a great experience.

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