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Market news: Are CNY homebuyers on the fence?

Realtors across the nation mourned on Dec. 30. On that date in 2008, the Case-Shiller home price index reported its largest price drop of housing in its history.

Mark Re, vice president and general manager of the Central New York Division of RealtyUSA, remembers the time.

“When everything crashed and the housing market got hit, in Phoenix, Ariz., there was a seven-year supply of homes.”

However, Re said he is experiencing changes in the market unlike anything he’s seen in his 34-year career.

“Right now, Phoenix has less than one month’s supply. Everything starts on the West Coast and goes east.”

Spring has come early for Re, who said the market they usually experience during the season is here now, and buyers need to take advantage of that.

“My recommendation to everybody I know, if you have a good job and good credit, don’t walk, run and buy a house,” Re said. “It’ll be the best investment you could possibly make right now.”

This is because interest rates are lower this winter than they have been in more than 50 years.

“You can get a 15-year mortgage at 2.78 percent and you can a 30-year mortgage at about 3.25 percent,” he said. “A lot of people think, and I would concur, that in the spring, the rates will go up. Will they go up drastically? No. But they’ll probably inch up because they can’t go any lower. For every 1 percent that the rate goes up, the buyer looses about $10,000 to $15,000 of buying power, so they are much better off to buy now and take advantage of that.”

When realtors have a six-month supply of homes or more, they are considered to have an oversupply. When they have a five-month supply, they are considered even. However, business is booming for Re and his colleagues, and their inventory is approaching a shortage with only a four months supply of homes left.

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