The Buffalo NIagara Association of Realtors reported a 16 percent increase in closed sales for November 2009 when compared to November 2008. The original deadline for expiration of the first time buyer credit was November 30, 2009 and this caused a tremendous flurry of activity between September 15 and October 15 as buyers who perhaps had been “on the fence” before jumped off in significant numbers to stake their claim to the $8000 credit. This 4 week period was somewhat of an artificial deadline as it takes anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks to typically close a real estate transaction in Western New York. It should be noted that this credit was subsequently extended by the federal government in late November.
Most of your full time real estate people will report that once the “window” closed in mid-October, phones went dead with minimal new business coming in on the heels of the stimulus fired buying activity. It’s my opinion that December and January closed sales numbers will lag behind the prior year as many potential purchasers seemed to fast-forward themselves into a contract because it seemed as if the extension was over for good. Since the announcement of the extension of the credit, many real estate are reporting a renewal of new inquiries and people coming back in to the market despite the usual December slow down of activity. There are no official statistics to bear out this point just testimony from several of the old warhorses I rub elbows with day in and day out. The current tax credit requires an individual to enter into a contract no later then April 30, 2010 and to close by June 30, 2010 in order to claim the credit. I am expecting a strong influx of new clientele into the marketplace after the first of the year.