Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Local home sales shine against national numbers
Eastern Iowa and northwestern Illlinois, particularly Galena, may be bucking the housing market slump many other parts of the nation are experiencing.
During the first half of 2010, real estate sales were up 29 percent in Cedar Rapids, 22 percent in Iowa City, and 21 percent in Dubuque, while Galena saw a whopping 47 percent increase. (Telegraph Herald Aug. 24)
Local sale numbers stand in sharp contrast to the national housing market. During July, nationwide home sales dropped sharply--down more than 27 percent since the expiration of the home buyer tax credit on June 30.
"The home buyer tax credit helped propel the market," said Jeann Digman, Assistant Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Dupaco. "Since rates have remained historically low buyers in our area still seem encouraged to purchase homes."
Digman noted that the continued high volume of scheduled mortgage loan closings would be another indicator that the area is not yet seeing a backlash from the expiring tax credit.
According to historical data by Freddie Mac on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the average rate in July of 2010 was 4.56% (.7 points), down from 6.70% (.7 points) just three years prior in 2007.
"In this lower-rate environment, buyers essentially get more house for the money," said Digman. "Right now can be a very good time to make a housing move."