Positive News for this Month's Real Estate Market

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is feeling good this month.
NAHB released the results of its most recent housing market index (HMI), which tracks confidence throughout the real estate industry, and reported a four-point increase in April to 19, the highest level in seven months.
The last time the HMI was at 19 was in September, right before the last home buyer tax credit expired. Experts again attribute the new rise in builder confidence to the tax credits — a savings of $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for existing owners — which are set to expire on April 30.
“An expected surge in buyer activity leading up to the expiration of the home buyer tax credits and a gradually improving economy helped to brighten builders’ view of the marketplace in April,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.  “Meanwhile, builders have a more neutral view of what may come in the next six months and are very aware of the many factors that continue to drag on housing at this time.”
One of those factors includes the number of foreclosed homes available on the market. RealtyTrac on Thursday reported that U.S. foreclosures increased 16 percent during the first quarter of this year compared to last year and that one in every 138 homes received a foreclosure filing during that time.
Mayor Daley held a press conference on Thursday to discuss plans to help struggling homeowners. Daley is pushing for more city and state assistance, including educational programs, easier access to legal services and mediation help.
Daley also stated that he feels Chicago real estate owners should be required to maintain foreclosed properties and that the banks should take more responsibility in acquiring them, after Chicago taxpayers spent $7 million boarding up abandoned properties last year.