Mild winter helps local real estate market

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Winter is usually the slowest time of the year for real estate sales. But that hasn’t been the case this winter.

Two main reasons: There’s no snow on the ground, and mortgage interest rates remain low. The mild weather has allowed home buyers to tour the market and initial concern that the Federal Reserve would start raising interest rates has been delayed.

The result: a buyers market. Realtor Dayne Tracy of the Murphy’s Realtors explained “When you are having storm after storm after storm like we did last winter, it keeps thing down. But we are getting calls for showings. The lower you can keep the rates and the lower the gas prices stay, the better off for everybody.”

Turmoil in the stock market has caused the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage to fall to 3.79%. Right now there are 40 houses for sale in Amherst and 50 in Northampton. December home sales in the Northeast are up 6.1 percent from last year.

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