Happy Holidays!

Diane Craig

Here it is again-the end of another year. We are safe; no terrorist attacks in our country. The stock market is trading at near record levels, but the psyche seems to be one of negativity; tough to get a home loan, homes in foreclosure, homes not selling and devaluing. We are so fortunate here in Texas and San Antonio that we are not greatly affected by the foreclosure situation.
 
Most of those problems are in 7 states-California, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Florida. Sales in Stone Oak area are ahead of last year, and the price per square foot is higher across the board. We do, however, have an oversupply of listings compared to 2006. Combined with the buyers coming here from other areas who cannot sell their existing homes, the resulting situation is that homes are staying on the market longer. We have been spoiled over the past couple of years because most homes sold quickly. We now have to be much more aggressive in pricing and marketing.
 
The home mortgage market remains in good condition here. If a consumer has a good credit score and has as little as 5% down payment, interest rates remain in the low 6% range. Only when the mortgage amount gets over $417,000 is the rate higher (in the 7.5% to 8% range). Because of the current conditions, buyers can expect to get a better buy, and sellers can expect to receive lower offers and have their home on the market longer.