First-quarter home sales down

First-quarter sales of single family homes in 2011 were down about 33 percent from 2010 figures, according to recently released quarterly information from the Jefferson City Area Board of Realtors.

Between Jan. 1, 2011, and March 31, 2011, 139 single family units were sold, compared to 210 in 2010.

An extended winter curtailed home sales for Mid-Missouri in March, the board said. But real estate professionals suggest low-interest rates and a wide selection of available properties will spur buyer activity in the coming months.

There are currently 752 active single family listings available for purchase with 33 identified as foreclosed listings. For the same period in 2010, there were 760 active single-family listings with the number of foreclosure listings unavailable.

Qualified buyers still have a broad range of loan products to choose from including no-money-down programs such as Rural Development for rural properties and VA for qualified veterans. Good credit, stable employment and down payments are still the primary criteria lenders use when granting home loans.

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.84 percent in March 2011, compared to 4.97 percent in March 2010, according the Freddie Mac website.

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