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Pending Homes Sales Rise According to NAR

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator, rose 2.1 percent to 90.8, based on contracts signed in February, from 88.9 in January. The index is 8.2 percent below 98.9 recorded in February 2010. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it’s important to look at the broader trend. “Month-to-month movements can be instructive, but in this uneven recovery it’s important to look at the longer term performance,” he said. “Pending home sales have trended up very nicely since bottoming out last June, even with periodic monthly declines. Contract activity is now 20 percent above the low point immediately following expiration of the home buyer tax credit.” Read more.


Buyers Ready To Snatch Spring Bargains

Bargain prices on housing combined with low interest rates below 5 percent may bring the real estate market its busiest spring season in years, economists say.  Distressed sales continue to put downward pressure on home prices, which may lure more buyers off the fence and ready to snag a deal during the typical prime-time buying season. Some builders are ramping up discounts on new homes as well as boosting commissions to brokers to try to spark more transactions. Sellers of existing-homes also are getting more competitive in pricing their homes. 'After three years of the housing downturn, people are becoming much more realistic in terms of valuing their homes,' says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS®. Read more.


9 Things Home Buyers Want In 2011

Today's homebuyers want it all. Some items on the shopping list: a home in great condition with rooms that can do double duty. Areas that mingle indoor and outdoor living -- patios, porches, decks and outdoor rooms -- are always a plus. And so are those features that offer a little luxury, like garden tubs, first-rate appliances and high-dollar countertops. They're also going back to basics: searching for solid, well-maintained properties that will give them their money's worth. Read more.


Kentucky Select Listing Picked as Estate of the Day on AOL's Luxury Living Blog,

Luxist, an AOL-owned web site dedicated to covering the best the world has to offer on a variety of luxury and fine living topics, has selected KY Select agent Joanne Owen's listing on Upper River Road as their national 'Estate of the Day'. Luxist features real estate, trends in travel, the art world, shopping, fashion, gourmet food, wine and the spending habits of the rich and famous. See the post here.


Wealthy Real Estate Buyers Re-Emerge

The rich have returned to the real estate market and are taking advantage of big bargains in luxury homes. Sales of million-dollar homes and condos increased last year in all 20 major metro areas with some cities seeing an 18.6 percent increase in high-end home sales, according to DataQuick Information Systems. The increase follows four consecutive years of declines in million-dollar homes. More here.


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