By Megan Boatwright, Channel 3 Eyewitness News
The housing market is gaining ground. New home sales went up 27% nationally in March. That is a significant increase of February's record low.
The same is true for the local market. In March, existing home sales rose more than 42%
From 406 homes sold in February, to 577 in March. Last month's numbers also show a more than 29% increase over the same period last year.
Many say the numbers are a result of people taking advantage of the home buyer tax credits.
This weekend realtors plan to show hundreds of homes across the Tennessee valley as part of the annual parade of homes.
"This is a gorgeous house," says Chattanooga Realtor, Randy Durham. "I hope we sell it soon. I know the seller does too."
Chances are good Durham will get his wish through the Parade of Homes event this weekend. "This is just one of the 12 homes Durham will show.
"A bunch of last minute shoppers will be out," he says. Last minute is right, April 30th is the deadline for first time buyers and trade up buyers to qualify for the Obama $6,000 and $8,000 tax credits.
"8 days left for them to ink a contract," Durham says.
It's not just the coming week that will see a push to buy. Last months sales numbers were already 42% higher than those in February. Music to a broker's ear.
"Those are promising numbers," Durham says. "It's proving what I've been saying over the last few months. The market is continuing to return to normal."
This home the broker hopes to seel in Flintstone has been on the market for 6 months. Durham says that is the average waiting period for a home its size and price in Northwest Georgia, but what will happen to the waiting period and those sales numbers after the 30th?
"The market continues to see good interest rates," he says. "As long as interest rates remain low people will continue to buy."
Durham hopes the inventory on the market will also help. "The median price is $120,000, the houses are affordable interest rates are low. It's good inventory at good prices," he says.
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