Montgomery, AL (WSFA) – After a second straight month of increasing homes sales in Montgomery, realtors are hopeful it's the beginning of a turn-around for 2010.
Thanks to federal tax credits and lower interest rates, prices seem to be on the mend.
And local realtors hope it's a sign of a gradual recovery.
Realtor Danny Fordham said, "We're optimistic about sales increasing in 2010 as compared to what happened in 2009."
Recovering from a brutal decline, 2009 saw continuing foreclosures impacting the market.
Fordham said, "The foreclosures have taken away sales from new homes on the market as well as existing homes."
But with help from Uncle Sam, the outlook isn't looking as dim.
The first time homebuyer tax credit helped boost home sales before the November 30th deadline.
Now that they've extended it until April 30th, Fordham says he believes the momentum will continue through the summer months.
The new year also meant a new home for Dr. Thomas Williams and his wife.
The two decided to downsize and relocate, which meant selling their home in an ailing market.
Williams said, after his experience, he knows it takes a little extra to sell your home.
He said, "There are a lot of homes that just aren't properly staged or don't have good curb appeal. That really makes a difference. Also, it helps to have a good real estate agent that can give you good advice."
But in the end, realtors say the road to recovery begins with improving unemployment.
Fordham said, "A person looking for a job isn't going to buy a new home. And I think if the stock market rises a little and the confidence level increases, people will come back into the market and start looking for new homes."
Local real estate agents are also hoping to see increased sales from repeat buyers thanks to a second tax credit.
Homebuyers who have owned and lived in a home for five of the past eight years are eligible for a $6500 dollar credit.