The news is not earthshaking! New home sales numbers for December 2008 are just out for Louisville and they are as you might expect.  The number of homes sold was down 25% from December 2007.  Still, look at this a different way, 718 homes sold in December 2008, (compared to 964 in December 2007), means homes are selling.  What buyers are looking for is a stable economy, deals and great interest rates.  Many believe a new administration will stabilize the economy and allow the lower home prices and interest rates to do their job.   

What sellers need now more than ever is to correctly price their home and then marketing that includes high quality pictures and video TV stories about the home to bring in buyer eyeballs.  The Louisville Courier-Journals’ Alex Davis recently wrote a story about aggressive marketing and included us and 2 of our successful sellers in 2008 (Lori Dougherty and Robert and Adele Koch). You can read that story here. 

The average sales price of a home was down about $15,000 from a year before. But remember, included in that number are 202 foreclosures/short sales which were sold at anywhere between 10 and 50 percent below market value. 

It’s the foreclosures and short sales that are forcing down area prices here in Louisville and around the United States. Of the buyers out in the market this new years day, many are looking for bargains and believe a foreclosure or short sale is the place to get them. Unfortunately, once buyers get in to see a home in foreclosure and realize the work needed to return the home back to a livable condition, the deal is not as good as once thought! 

The good news for home buyers (and sellers) right now are interest rates.  As of this writing rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage were 5 percent. A 15-year fixed mortgage was hovering at 4.75. As we move into 2009, many believe the lower rates will motivate buyers to make a purchase.