Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wrapping Up this Week

As this week comes to a close we have had a swoon of activity in our market place. Here are some comments that I picked up form Realty Times that may help put a few things into perspective.

Now let's turn to market developments still ahead: No one is predicting any quick turnarounds or sudden bursts in sales, but think about these facts:

Thirty-year mortgage rates continue to be in the mid to upper 5 percent range -- among the lowest in half a century. If they stay low, most economists agree they will stimulate home sales.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress last week that he is committed to lowering short-term rates even further to help stimulate the economy -- and hinted that the Fed could cut rates another half point in mid March.

The new, higher mortgage maximums for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA will kick in by mid-March and should help thousands of first-time buyers in high-cost markets like California and the Northeast and ultimately help clear out some of the unsold inventory clogging those areas.

Combine low-cost money with sharply lower prices and at some point, you hit bottom -- flatten out -- and sales begin to pick up.

Downcycles aren't forever, nor are upcycles.

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