STUPID STUPID STUPID. While challenging negotiations continue to get property tax relief passed in the Indiana legislature, one side of the political aisle has apparently lost their minds. This week Indina House Republicans were attempting to add numerous amendments including a same sex marriage ban into the Governor's proposed tax relief bill that would cap taxes on a residence at 1% of it's assessed value. Whether or not you are for a ban on same sex marriage has nothing to do with a bill to try and keep people from getting kicked out of their homes from excessive taxation! Come on people, get a brain. Stop playing these idiotic games and get this passed before the session runs out and further pain is inflicted on an already over taxed public. If you're curious, you can use this link and find out how the Governor's tax plan would reduce your property taxes.

Think those interest rate cuts by the Fed are going to have an impact? After a 1.25% reduction, here's the most likely time line on when the rate cuts may actually help.

It's All in the Head.....
There are two major issues facing our current real estate market both locally and nationally if we are to see growth resume in 2008. The first, which we cannot change is oversupply. There have been over 100,000 homes built in the last 10 years in the greater Indianapolis area. That's one NEW home built for every 3 PREEXISTING households. In a word, ridiculous.

The second issue that we can change is psychology. The constant drum beat of bad news has kept many would be purchasers on the sidelines. As we look at the national and local housing inventories, we may be seeing the very early stages of a turn. The national numbers listed in the graphic below are similar to our Indy data right now and that seems to indicate we are near the top and perhaps on our way down in total homes on the market. The new and existing inventories are dipping....which is what we have needed for over a year.

If this trend continues over the next several months, we may well see that overall change in supply that has boat-anchored our market over late 2006 and all of 2007. Couple that with a stimulus package from the federal government, interest rate reductions and property tax relief and you have the makings of a bona fied recovery. At least that's what I'm hoping for relative to our clients as I pace my home at 3 am each night.

So if you must sell or desire to sell, defined by motivation and means to meet the market's demand for your property, what are the most significant things you need to do to get your property on the market? That's the topic for NEXT week's Real Estate Minute online Monday February 3, 2008.

Finally a quick summary of the first 25 days of 2008 and how it compares to early 2007. It's a small sample but still reflects a trend in the market. The geography included all of southern Hamilton County and Northern tier of Marion County including Lawrence, Washington, Pike, Clay, Delaware and Fall Creek Townships.

Pending sales from 1/1/07 to 1/25/07 511

Pending sales from 1/1/08 to 1/25/08 389

(2008 sales in units are 23.9% below 2007 for the same time period)