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Realtors in HomeGain Survey See Prices Stabilizing or Improving

Three out of four Realtors, 72 percent, believe home prices will either stay the same or increase over the next six months. Nearly half, 48 percent, expect prices to stay the same through May and 24 percent expect them to improve, according to HomeGain's Fourth Quarter Home Prices Survey of Realtors.

Realtors' price expectations improved have improved steadily over the year. Only 47 percent of those surveyed in the first quarter believed home prices would either stay the same or increase. Expectations were highest in the Midwest (73 percent) and lowest in the West (65 percent), where 56 percent of Realtors expect prices to decrease.

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First-time homebuyers taking advantage of the first-time homebuyer tax credit dominated Realtors' business during the third quarter, accounting for more than half the transactions of 21 percent of Realtors. Only 11 percent said that none of their transactions last quarter involved a first-time buyer,

"The fourth quarter HomeGain Home Prices Survey shows that Realtors believe that the first-time homebuyers' tax credit has driven sales and stabilized home prices, for now. Realtors, however, expressed concerns about the cost of the credit to taxpayers and where sales will continue once the credit expires later next year and additional inventory hits the market," said Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain.

Sellers' expectations remain high and buyers continue to believe properties are overpriced. Seventy-six percent of sellers believe that their homes are worth more than their Realtor's recommendation and 62 percent of buyers think that homes are overpriced, according to the survey of 928 agents and brokers conducted December 1-5.

Realtors reported that listing prices are holding their own. Sixty-three percent of properties sold within ten percent of listing price during the third quarter, a significant increase over 55 percent in the second quarter,

Foreclosures' share of inventory has fallen. Fifteen percent of Realtors report that foreclosures constitute more than 30 percent of homes for sale in their area. Last quarter, 20 percent of Realtors reported more than 30 percent of homes for sale were foreclosures and in the first quarter, it was 22 percent.

HomeGain is a leading provider of online marketing solutions that connect real estate agents and brokers with home buyers and sellers. HomeGain offers free services to find and compare real estate agents, research home values, and view homes for sale. HomeGain.com receives an average of over five million web visits per month, ranking it in the top 10 real estate websites worldwide.

From Real Estate Economy Watch

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