Here we discuss all matters Real Estate, with an emphasis on Tucson Arizona. We welcome your story ideas. Via Realty is a boutique real estate company founded on Jan 1 2000 by 2nd generation Arizonan Wayne D Anderson, a Realtor since 1989. 520) 327-1550. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Change is Here

Well a lot has happened since my last post. We have elected a new president, the financial markets are in a tizzy and yet interest rates and the local housing market have been better than what many people might expect.

A local lender e-mailed me his rate card yesterday an it showed that there has been a downward move in the 30 year fixed conforming mortgage to 5.875 with an APR just over 6% @ 6.035. 15 year checking in at 5.5% with an APR of 5.765%. This is cheap mortgage money!

I remember when I started in the real estate business in 1989 and we were praying for single digit rates. It took a while for that to happen. The market was terrible, with the collapse of the S&L industry, the RTC properties flooding the market, IBM moving out of Tucson and difficult credit policies. Deja vu with a twist! As we got through those challenges, we will go through this one too.

The Tucson Association of Realtors came out with a new statistics report for October and although showing a slight decrease in sales since Oct 2007, it also shows a 4.16% increase in sales price over Sept 08. Listing inventory is slightly higher, but well below a year ago, which is good, since it lowers competition for your listing. The report is available on our web site. Click on the "Market Report" to view the pdf document.

Yesterday I viewed about a dozen properties in the central city. One thing that I noticed is that the properties that were priced right were being shown by agents who were working with buyers. Two things: pricing is key to activity and there are buyers out there!

Finally, with a new administration coming in next year, it might be wise to schedule an appointment with your tax person or CPA to get an early start on a strategy in the event that there are changes in tax policy. Currently we enjoy a $250K exemption in capital gains on the sale of a primary residence ($500K for married couples) This could change. Also, keep an eye on any proposed changes in the capital gains rate for investment properties.

Despite all of the negativity out there, I still see positive things ahead for our marketplace. Tucson is a great place to live, the weather is marvelous and Arizona is still a net gainer in population. We have the U of A and DM, not to mention Raytheon. There are buyers out there, some with cash. (We closed on a cash buyer last month who relocated to Tucson) Home prices are stabilizing and if you are a buyer, there are some great deals out there for you. I am counting my blessings.