While the national housing market continues to fall, in both prices and units sold, we are seeing an upturn in the local South Tampa market. In particular we see a number of buyers contacting our office, inquires on active listings as well as actual offers. While we are in no means out of the woods, this type of activity is a positive sign. Additionally, mortgage rates in late December and early January dropped below 5%, which in turned created a big jump in mortgage refinancing. The thought is if rates can get back below 5% on a 30yr fixed we should continue to see healthy buyers entering the market and work off the excess inventory. This reduction in interest rates again is quite possible since the newly revised Treasury plan will have the government buy another $200-$300 billion of mortgage paper from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, thus freeing up these entities to write new mortgages. Finally, in the newly passed “Stimulus” bill new homeowners or those that have not owned a home in the past three years will receive an $8,000 tax credit if they purchase between December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2009.