Realtors hopeful for spring surge

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

With low interest rates, a large inventory of homes on the market and special government incentives for buyers, real estate is poised for a rebound this spring, according to local Realtors.

The only thing missing is consumer confidence, according to Dan Smith of Coldwell Banker Best Sellers.

"It's like a perfect storm," Smith said. "We have all the materials. The only thing we are lacking to have a great real estate market is consumer confidence."

While it's not news that the real estate market in Carson City is down, sales numbers illustrate just how tough it is out there.

In February, only eight properties sold, according to the Carson City Assessor's office Web site. Five were residences and three were commercial properties. In comparison, 28 properties sold in February 2008.

January numbers were even worse. Six properties sold in January 2009, compared to 27 in January 2008.

Smith said that statistics from the Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service show that nine single-family homes sold in January, and 16 in February. Despite the discrepancy, the numbers show a big drop from prior year.

Joan Zadny, president of the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors, said that the number of foreclosures and bank-owned homes might account for some current sales not showing up immediately.

Recorded sales so far this month show a continuing slow but upward trend. The assessor recorded eight sales in the first 13 days of March.

Smith thinks that the change in national leadership had an effect on home sales in January, as potential buyers stayed on the fence to see what the new president would do, and what kind of programs would be offered to help buyers.

Charity Hart, a Realtor with Realty Executives, can attest to that change. She put her own house on the market and had a cash buyer in one week. That property is now in escrow, as is the new home her family is buying.

"It's a great time to buy," Hart said. "Interest rates are very low. I locked in at 4.5 percent on a 30-year conventional loan. It doesn't get much better than that."

Hart said that pricing was key to her success.

"When buyers price their homes according to MLS statistics, they will sell faster," she said.

Hart also said that MLS statistics show that for the first quarter, the median listing price for homes in Carson City is $226,450, and the median sale price is $218,500.

"It's great for buyers," Hart said. "They can spend more. It's more buying power for the buyer."

- Contact reporter Kirk Caraway at or (775) 881-1261.


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