A fourth-quarter survey of more than 900 real estate practitioners and brokers by HomeGain shows that 48 percent expect residential prices to hold steady.

Twenty-four percent anticipate price increases during the next six months -- up from 36 percent and 11 percent, respectively, in the first quarter. While most agents attribute a boost in sales activity to the home buyer tax credit, the survey indicates that they are unsure about the program's costs and whether sales activity will hold up after its expiration in 2010.

First-time buyers accounted for more than 50 percent of transactions during the last three months for 21 percent of the survey's respondents. Meanwhile, 76 percent of sellers believe their agent's listing price is too low and 62 percent of buyers consider homes overpriced -- versus 74 percent and 64 percent, respectively, in the third quarter.

Source: Inman News (12/10/09)