In 2009, housing was more affordable than at any time in the past 20 years. 2009 was also supported by many government initiatives like the 2009 first time homebuyer tax credit, which has been extended through March 2010 as well as by other support plans for state and local government. Unfortunately, the loan modification program has not been received well by the public or by lenders.
In the major markets in the U.S., only Pittsburgh PA shows a gain in housing values during 2009. Median selling prices in Pittsburgh rose to $114,750 and are projected to rise by 0.41% in 2010 with another projected increase of 2.23% in 2011.
There are several cities where prices should rise in 2010, but overall 2010 predictions call for a 5-10% decline. Areas like Rochester New York, Little Rock Arkansas, Memphis Tennessee and Albuquerque New Mexico are expected to rise significantly in 2010.
Overall the projections for California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona are lower. The Midwest and specifically Kansas, the Dakotas and Nebraska are expected to see a rise in housing demand and prices.
In 2009, Jacksonville was the most stable of the tumultuous Florida market, where renting is in far greater demand than purchasing. Jacksonville housing process fell by 22.31% settling at a median selling price of $145,250. Miami 2009 prices continued a ferocious slide with median prices settling at $183,530. Even high-end West Palm Beach showed a downturn with the median selling price dipping to $223,470.
The 2009 real estate market shows signs of stabilization. Assisted by aggressive government initiatives and by broader acceptance of short sales, the market still showed good sales volume. Toward the end of the year, more short sales began to close. In the beginning of the year, the short sale process was cumbersome. Many real estate agents did not fully understand the process. The National Association of Realtors has offered further education and training programs for agents entering the short sale marketplace. It is estimated that almost one third of 2009 transactions were foreclosures or short sales.