Affordable, reasonably priced homes are waiting for new buyers
The St. Charles region is in real estate bounce back mode with sales of existing homes up 15 percent during the first quarter of this year as compared to the same time last year. The median home price rose to $169,000, a $2,000 increase, beating the national media price of $166,100. This increase mirrors the price increases in nearly 60 percent of U.S. cities during the first quarter with double-digit increases in 29 cities.
Joe Sahrmann, president of the St. Charles County Association of Realtors, sees the market rebounding from the challenging times of the last few years. “We haven’t seen homes this affordable in years.” he says, “The selection is wide and varied for different income levels. Mortgage rates are staying low for now, and St. Charles is nationally recognized as a great place to live.”
And, even though the homebuyer tax credits have expired, it’s still a great time to buy a home, he says. 26 percent more homes are under contract during the first quarter of this year than compared to the same period in 2009.
Some of the increase was fueled by the government’s income tax credits for first-time and returning homebuyers. About 2.2 million households participated in the tax credit program, which cost the government $16 billion, according to the Internal Revenue Service. And, sales in March surged following a three-month decline attributed in part to harsh winter weather.
What does the near future hold for real estate? The industry is an integral part of the American economy, intertwined with employment and finance. If those factors stabilize and increase, the National Association of Realtors predicts prices will increase modestly in the second half of this year.
Slow but steady wins the race, and that axiom is certainly true for the real estate market these days. As buyers become more confident in their spending patterns and realize the market value, we’ll climb back to a robust St. Charles County.
Written by Myra Vandersall