An increasing number of real estate agents and brokers expect home prices will either stay flat or increase in the next six months, according to a fourth-quarter survey by online real estate marketing company HomeGain.

Forty-eight percent of agents and brokers surveyed think home prices will stay the same and 24 percent think prices will go up, the company reported. That’s a slight increase from the third-quarter survey, when those numbers were 46 percent and 23 percent, respectively. This marks a major change from HomeGain’s first-quarter survey when 36 percent thought prices would remain flat and 11 percent thought prices would increase. The survey had 928 respondents.

The survey also found real estate agents believe the first-time homebuyers tax credit has spurred sales, for now.

"(Respondents), however, expressed concerns about the cost of the credit to taxpayers and whether sales will continue once the credit expires later next year and additional inventory hits the market," said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain, in a statement.

Only 11 percent of respondents noted that none of their transactions involved a first-time homebuyer. Twenty-one percent said more than half of their transactions in the past three months involved a first-time homebuyer.

President Obama’s approval rating, 42 percent, among respondents, was unchanged since the third quarter and has fallen from his 57 percent rating in the second quarter.

The survey also found a predictable split between buyers and sellers. Seventy-six percent of home sellers believe their homes are worth more than the agent- or broker-recommended listing price, respondents said, up from 74 percent in the third-quarter survey and 71 percent in the second-quarter survey.

On the other hand, 62 percent of homebuyers think that homes are overpriced, down from 64 percent in the third quarter and up from 59 percent in the first quarter, respondents reported.


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