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Home Prices Up in September

Home Prices Up in September – Mixed in Florida

Standard & Poors/Case Shiller released their September results for 20 US metro areas yesterday. The index rose 0.3% over August prices. Prices are still down for the year, but prices from the third quarter of 2009 rose 3.1% over the second quarter.

Florida Home Prices Mixed

Case Shiller includes the Florida metro areas of Miami and Tampa. Miama prices where up 1/2 of a percent, while Tampa prices fell 0.6% after rising 0.4% in August.

What Do Average Prices Mean for Home Sellers and Buyers?

First, average prices tell an average story. They do nothing to illustrate individual sales, and those are the ones that will matter to you. How well you find and negotiate a deal is what matters in the end. That being said, indexes like Case Shiller do show valuable overall trends. Buyers with short and medium term plans to buy a home or condo need to be aware when general prices start to rise. Why? Because the lenders are surely aware and will be looking for higher prices on foreclosure and short sales.

It is significant to note that while the Miami area now has 18,000 properties in some stage of foreclosure, prices still rose. Many analyst are speculating that the cause for the recent increases in prices and sales are due to the recent expiration of the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit. I’m not sure about this. Most of my buyers of Daytona Beach homes and condos are not buyers taking advantage of the tax credit. Most of my buyers are buying second homes or newly moving to the area.

Perhaps in other areas, not as hard hit by foreclosures and short sales, more of the buyers are taking advantage of the tax credit. I’m more inclined to believe that it’s the low prices, especially for patients buyers, that are driving the market.

Is the Window Closing on Great Home Deals?

I don’t believe the window is closing – yet. I am confident that the process of price stabilization has begun, but it will not be a straight line. Our research shows high foreclosure levels through 2011. High foreclosure activity and poor economic conditions will dampen prices from rising quickly. Don’t expect to realize significant appreciation on a real estate purchase unless you buy well below market.

Is that possible? Yes, it’s happening every day, but you need to know the market and be tuned in. Purchasing without solid market knowledge and good guidance could be disasterous. Please, get good guidance from a local real estate agent. I can help you in the Daytona Beach and Palm Coast areas, but wherever you are, make sure you are dealing with someone with foreclosure and short sale experience.

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