Realtors across the nation are seeing some light at the end of the long tunnel:
Small-town Texan realtor Rick Cumins is going to see a paycheck in April -- his first since December.
"I've got two pending closings in April, one for a property worth $55,000, the other for $68,000. They'll pay the rent," he told Reuters in his modest office in the town of Cleburne, about 20 miles south of Fort Worth.
Cumins is not the only realtor who is starting to see some fleeting light at the end of a long and torturous tunnel.
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose at their fastest pace in nearly six years in February, data showed on Monday, providing some good news for the recession-hit economy.
They rose 5.1 percent in February to a 4.72 million-unit annual rate, notching their largest gain since July 2003, the National Association of Realtors said. But about 45 percent of the sales were foreclosure or short-sale transactions.
Things seem to be picking up in many parts of the country, and early indication that the market is turning around:
"It's like it's been raining buyers, when they've been the scarcest thing in town," said Joan Dodd, a realtor who has worked 30 years in the Phoenix Valley -- one of the areas most blighted by foreclosures as boom turned to bust.
"The buyers are just seeming to come out of nowhere ... We've had a long dry spell, but it seems to be over."
Dodd said she thought interest rates were "fabulously low," which had helped entice buyers back into the market. She further cited an $8,000 tax allowance for first-time home buyers -- a view echoed by others.
Janie Hudson, a Kansas City realtor who has also been in the business for 30 years, said she saw positive trends.
"It isn't great but I don't see any doom and gloom. If they are priced well they are starting to sell," she said.
Just this month, a three-bedroom ranch house, priced at $330,000, sold in its first week on the market at its asking price -- something she had not seen for some time.
Atlanta realtor Renee Kunkler said there were signs that things were starting to pick up and she expected the market to bounce back somewhat by the end of this year.
In recent weeks, Kunkler has seen increased numbers of buyers attracted by low rates and also a perception that there were good deals to be had.
She cited one example in which a buyer this week wanted to offer $600,000 on a house that had originally been priced at $799,000 before being reduced to $699,000.
"All buyers are just obsessed about getting the deal. Nobody cares about loving a house. They care about getting a deal, a foreclosure," she said.
Deals are there, and they buyers are stepping in -- a good sign that the market has the beginnings of a comeback.
Rush Limbaugh and his conservative corral of clowns must be spitting nails.
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