Monday, February 21, 2011
There were more homes sold in the region this January than in January 2010, despite the expiration of a homebuyer tax credit. RealSTATS Vice President Dan Murrer says the nearly 1,500 homes sold in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland Counties last month represented a 3% jump from the January 2010 rate. Murrer says existing home sales were flat, but a large increase in new home sales “carried the flag” so far this year. He says the average price of a new home fell about $60,000 since January 2010. "By virtue of dropping that much, it opened up the new home market to more buyers,” says Murrer. “More people can afford a $280,000 house as opposed to, say, a $360,000 house." Murrer says areas like the Strip District and Moon sold particularly well this January, even though the federal Home Buyer Tax Credit expired last April. The stimulus program had given $8,000 in tax credits to new homebuyers and $6,500 to repeat homebuyers. Murrer says it’s still too early in the year to predict how 2011 will turn out for regional real estate, but January’s numbers are encouraging.