From the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors Press Release:
Local home sales increased by 22% February over January, when Realtors sold 1,125 last month,
compared to 920 in the previous 30-day period.
Nationwide, seasonally-adjusted home sales climbed 5% last month over January.
The increase in home sales is partially attributed to a recently-enacted tax credit program. For more on that check out my previous post: What’s in the Bailout for me?
An Ohio sweetener, for the same group of buyers, is a mortgage credit certificate program that augments the Obama-signed legislation. The Ohio program offers a federal tax credit each year for the life of the owner-occupied home. The annual tax credit amount is based on a homeowner’s mortgage interest expense paid each year. The federal program is a one-time tax credit. It provides the biggest lump-sum savings on your taxes, which can be applied to your 2008 or 2009 federal income tax return. Both can be implemented this year; however, the Ohio program has limited funds, which means those funds could dry up in the next 30 to 60 days. It is administered through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. Not all lenders are making loans under the program. “Home buying affordability is clearly in a buyer’s favor,” said Jacob. “That’s because mortgage rates are the lowest in nearly 30 years, average home selling prices are less than last year, and there is an ample number of homes for sale.”
Mortgage rates currently are from 5% to 5.5% locally and nationally. They averaged in the mid
5% range last month. Nationwide, the new tax credit program is likely to boost home sales by 300,000 units from first time buyers in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. That will further trigger tradeup purchases. In addition to the benefit from the tax credit program and trade-up buying, low mortgage rates for all home buyers could easily raise home sales nationwide by 850,000 in 2009.
Previous Month Home Sales Comparison
Closings Gross Volume Avg Price
Feb. 2009 1,125 $146,575,313 $130,289
Jan. 2009 920 $117,019,128 $127,195
Variance +22.28% +25.26% +2.43%