July 20, 2010

Louisville Realtors sales up 26 percent in June in last boost from tax credit

Members of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors sold 1,477 houses and condos in June -- a 26 percent increase from a year ago -- as the last wave of deals under a federal housing tax credit were completed.

It marks the 12th straight month of improving sales compared to a year earlier.
The Southern Indiana Realtors Association, a smaller group, reported 308 sales last month, up from 300 a year ago.

The "true test" of how the market is holding up will be July's sales figures to be released in about a month, said Louisville Realtors President Linda Gibson Cecil.

That's because sales closed as of July 1 are not eligible for the credit -- save a few buyers who had contracts before April 30 and are taking advantage of a last-minute extension from Congress to complete their deals.

Nationally, sales of newly constructed homes plunged 33 percent in May, the Commerce Department reported.

So far that's been the only indication of how the market is performing without the tax credit. The Commerce Department records new home sales when contracts are signed, whereas Realtors groups wait until the closing.

In Louisville, sales are up 29 percent in the first half of the year compared to 2009, and the median sales price during that time was $135,000, up from $129,900.

Cecil said she expected June sales to be boosted by the tax credit, as they have been the last few months, but "I didn't expect us to be up that much."

Reporter Chris Otts can be reached at (502) 582-4589.
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July 1, 2010

Best Cities 2010: 10 Best Cities for Education

#4: Louisville, KY
Nine of Louisville's schools have been awarded the Department of Education's blue ribbon distinction, revealing the top-notch quality of schools in this education-friendly city, which also boasts a 75% graduation rate.

Education rank: 4

High School graduation rate 2008: 75%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 9

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 1.62

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 6

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 1.078

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 267

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 15.8

Total Expenditures Per Student: $10,791

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