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Spring Real Estate Forecast Looks Bright

BOSTON (CBS) - Spring is the busiest season in the real estate market, and this year is shaping up to be red hot.

Homes are going under agreement at lightning speed which is good news for sellers like Kerri Ann Richard of Watertown.

She listed her condo recently and is more confident than ever that the refinished pine floors and the track lighting will seal a deal quickly.

"I thought the spring would bring a little more traffic in, but getting 2-3 showings a day consistently has been a surprise to me," said Richard.

Mike DelRose of Re/Max Leading Edge in Watertown says the market is "almost back to the days of prior to the peak of the market."

DelRose believes a lack of inventory is causing the return of bidding wars and sales above asking price. At this point, he's not concerned about another speculative bubble.

"I don't think buyers of today are in danger of being priced out of the market overnight, which was the case in 2005, back in 2006, when we were seeing 10%-15% appreciation, and people were priced out of the market within 6 months," added DelRose.

Low financing costs continue to fuel the real estate fire as well. "You can't do much better than the interest rates that are out there now," according to Ed McDonald, president of the Salem Five Mortgage Company.

"Nobody is predicting drastic increases in rates over the short term, maybe even going out a year," added McDonald.

If buying doesn't feel like the right move at this time, consumers will be hard pressed to find relief in the rental market.

Tim Schmidt of Re/Max Destiny in Cambridge explained, "There haven't been too many times in real estate history where both the rental market and the sales market are rising, and both are very hot right now, usually they are diametrically opposed."

Renters are now forced to think outside the box, and many are giving communities like East Boston or Chelsea a second look.

Construction is going full tilt on the Chelsea Place Apartment Complex, which will include 56 luxury units. It is scheduled to be ready for occupancy this summer.

Schmidt said, "It has all the high finishes the new units downtown do; laundry in the unit, all stainless steel, cherry cabinets, granite countertops, parking and it's about half the price."

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