Analysts Say Central Arkansas Housing Market is Strong – KATV Channel 7 News, Little Rock, AR

Posted 02/02/10 8:01 pm

 

Reporter: Michelle Rupp

 

Producer: Evan Hoffmeyer

 

Little Rock – The number of Americans preparing to buy a home rose in December.

 

The National Association of Realtors’ new seasonally adjusted indes of sales agreements rose to 96.6% from November 2009 to December 2009.  The index has risen for nine of the past 10 months as buyers take advantage of an $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit.  The credit was originally set to expire in November before Congress extended it to April 30, and added a $6,500 credit for current home owners.

 

Locally, realtors say the Central Arkansas market is strong, largely because of relatively strong employment compared to other capital cities. Say It On 7:

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(Harold Crye, Crye-Leike Realtors CEO)

“We’re in Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta, and none of those markets are doing quite well, truthfully.”

 

They urge home buyers to look at the real estate numbers in their area and not rely on national numbers because throughout the economic downturn, Arkansas has continued to do well.

 

Real estate brokers say some of the best deals are found in homes that have ended up in foreclosure because banks want to get rid of them.  Still, they say whether you are a first-time home buyer or an existing home owner looking for a change, now is a good time to consider.

 

(Harold Crye, Crye-Leike Realtors CEO)

“One, you have a tax credit so the federal government is subsidizing you buying a house.  Two, you have the lowest interest rates almost in history right now, and three, all the economists are expecting interest rates to start moving up.”

 

(Karen Crowson, Crye-Leike Realtors)

“Now is the time to buy.  It is not, ‘let’s wait and see.’ because I think they’re going to miss out on some good deals if they do wait.  And the foreclosure market is a realistic part of what we are looking at in today’s world, and so there are some great deals out there.”

 

Crowson says new lending practices have changed the real estate business, but she is optimistic for the future.

 

(Karen Crowson, Crye-Leike Realtors)

“Right now, to me, there are so many good deals out there.  Pricing, because it hasn’t quite recovered, there are still some good price values on homes, the interest rates are still very low, there are still some good loan programs.  If someone has reasonable credit they can still get a very good loan program.”

 

It currently takes between 30 and 45 days to close on a house.