You may be hearing the word "up" a lot more in the months ahead when it comes to the real estate and mortgage markets, and it's about time.
A total of 2,350 single-family homes sold in Massachusetts last month, the highest sales volume for the month of February in five years, according to a recent report by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. February home sales were "Up" 33 percent statewide—an increase from 1,765 sales in February 2011.
According to our field staff, enrollment is "Up" at the homebuyer education courses sponsored by non-profit counseling agencies, and many of April's scheduled courses are completely filled "Up".
While the Case-Shiller Index of home values was down slightly for the Boston MSA in January, Boston's "seasonally adjusted" index for January was actually "Up". Many Realtors are reporting that open house attendance is "Up" and the number of offers submitted on homes for sale is also "Up". We are hearing that in some communities where sales activity is "Up", Realtors are seeing home prices going "Up".
We saw interest rates tick "Up" recently, which could mean your time is "Up" if you've been waiting for rates to go any lower.
Apartment rents are also going "Up", making it more attractive to buy.
We've seen reports from the Department of Labor that the number of people who are employed is going "Up" as is personal income. For those who say they have given "Up" on buying a home because it is difficult to get approved for a mortgage, know this: MassHousing is offering mortgages with only a 3% downpayment at near record low interest rates, with no mortgage insurance.