Arkansas Realtors Busy Before Housing Credits Expire – KTHV Channel 11, Little Rock, AR

Web Story Link: http://www.todaysthv.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=103451&catid=2

 

Reported by: Katherina- Marie Yancy

 

Time is running out to cash in on the $8,000 federal tax credit and that has Arkansas realtors keeping busy these days. The housing credit is set to expire at the end of this week, April 30.

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For the next week, there are 8,000 reasons to get under contract for a house. And with a lot of activity expected, economists predict April’s home sales numbers will end on a high note.

 

As realtors set up open houses, time is of the essence for potential buyers.

 

Karen Crowson with Crye-Leike of Benton says, “We are starting to see a lot of offers. I know over the last week my office has been very busy with offers coming in.”

 

Crowson has been a realtor for more than 20-years and says this is an opportunity of a life time. She adds, “Because there are some great homes on the market and it’s not too late, they need to be under contract by April 30.”

 

It’s good news for buyers and sellers. First-time home buyers receive an $8,000 tax credit and repeat buyers who have lived in a house for five years receive $6,500.

 

Nationally, the median sales price has risen to $214,000. That is up more than 4% from a year ago.

 

Crowson explains, “The market has not caught up as far as pricing goes and with interest rates down, I still feel like it’s a great time for people to get out and buy a home now.”

 

The National Association of Realtors estimates 30% of home buyers would not have purchased a home if it wasn’t for the tax credit.

 

Crowson explains, “From March and April 2009, there were 83 sold transactions in the Benton, Bryant area. The same period for this year we have actually 126 that have sold to date. We feel that’s a good indication that tax credit is actually helping us.”

 

The real estate industry has been lobbying Washington to extend the tax credit once again, but the market place may be ready to stand alone.

 

“I’m afraid some buyers have held off thinking they did one extension, so maybe they’re going to extend it again and I don’t think that’s going to happen right now,” Crowson concludes.

 

Interest rates and sale prices are low. If you miss the tax credit deadline, Crowson says don’t let that keep you from continuing your search because there are great deals to take advantage of.

 

According to data released Friday, The Commerce Department reports sales of newly built homes shot up 27% in March. That is the largest monthly gain in nearly five decades.