NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun (photo at left) says, "The higher loan limits for both FHA and conventional loans will increase consumer choice and provide greater access to lower interest rate mortgages in high-cost regions. Therefore, a notable rise in home sales can be anticipated in the second half of the year."
Last month, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.92 percent, down from the average rate of 6.29 percent in February 2007, according to Freddie Mac. FAR's sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.
Bill Dryburgh, president of the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association of Realtors and a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential LLC, says the area's waterfront and unspoiled scenic beauty continue to attract new residents.
"The recent action taken by the Federal Reserve will help stabilize the mortgage market, which in turn will help the housing market," he says. "I believe we're also starting to see some movement in sales activity due to the passage of Amendment 1 and its portability provision."