Good time to buy home - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

Good time to buy home

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There is some very good news on the housing front.

First, it was word the recession was officially over; now, come new numbers may have you asking if it's the right time to buy a house.

The housing market is rebounding locally according to a new report.

Sales of existing single family homes are up from 754 in August of last year to 793 this year.

That's probably because the average price of a home has dropped from just over 245,000 to just over $227,000.

The same goes for condos.

Sales up went up from 651 to 736 over the past year with prices dropping from $112,000 to just under $85,000.

In Palm Beach County, existing home sales up a bit over last year, but down from July.

Sales of new homes nationally, level from last month, but near all time lows.

There's hope real estate is stabilizing, but it's still pretty tough out there.

Realtor Randy Bianchi of Paradise Properties shows a unit he has for sale at Flagler Landing in West Palm Beach. "This property is very unique. It's one of 68 units on the waterfront," he said.

A one bedroom, 1,100 square feet with a view of the water costs just $139,000.

Yet, after nine months, this short sale is still on the market. "We had a cash offer on this and the bank turned it down," Bianchi said.

"And then, about three weeks later, the property appraiser came out with their new valuations. And there was a sale on the second floor, which, I'll say, re-calibrated the values in this complex," he added.

Such is life in the current real estate market.

Bianchi says from banks to inspectors and appraisers, everyone is being more thorough these days.

"Getting the properties to close has been a real challenge. That's the biggest issue of all," he explained.

More work for realtors, yet because prices are down, income is not what it used to be.

Still Bianchi sees some encouraging signs.

"Our number of transactions in general is up. And, I think, that is a good thing," Bianchi said.

Bianchi believes short sales and foreclosures locally have peaked and the market should at least level off from here out.

"So I do think that the market is stabilizing in Palm Beach County. But I do think we have to look at every market individually."

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