Real estate had a good start in 2015. Buyer demand pushed pending home sales up in January and February in all major regions except the Midwest. The Pending Home Sales Index climbed up 8.4% from January of 2014.
Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist, says “The differences this year are the positive factors supporting stronger sales, such as slightly improving credit conditions, more jobs and slower price growth.”
Good news for traditional buyers entering the market now: all-cash sales and sales to investors are both down from a year ago, creating less competition. Indications according to Yun are for modest sales gains as we head into the spring buying season. Total existing-home sales are forecast to be 5.26 million, an increase of 6.4% from 2014.
Real estate continues to be the best investment for many families. Since real estate is local, let’s talk about your best options to maximize your investment.
Preparing your taxes this month? Home ownership provides many tax benefits. An overview of benefits includes the following:
• Mortgage interest
• Equity Loan Interest
• Home Selling Improvement Loan Interest
• Property Taxes
• Home Office Deductions
When selling, additional benefits include the following:
• Selling costs: real estate commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, escrow fees and inspection fees
• Capital Gains Exclusions
• Moving Costs
• Mortgage Tax Credit for low income and first-time home buyers
For more information on real estate tax laws, speak with your accountant or visit www.irs.gov or www.nolo.com