Today, in our ongoing series about local real estate markets, we’ll take a look at home sales and trends in the South Central USA.
In Alabama, Alabama.com reports that Huntsville home sales dipped in January, while prices statewide increased slightly:
Prices including distressed sales fell 2.1 percent in January 2013 compared to January 2012. From December 2012 to January 2013, they decreased 3.8 percent. If sales of distressed properties are factored out, prices only declined .1 percent from January 2012 to January 2013. Month-over-month, sales excluding distressed properties increased 1.8 percent. Although Huntsville prices fell, Alabama prices in January rose .2 percent including distressed sales and .5 percent without. U.S. prices increased 9.7 percent from January to January. Many states on the east coast and western part of the country saw average price gains of more than six percent. CoreLogic economists said those gains will likely boost sales activity for the first half of 2013.
In Arkansas, home sales were up 15% in January, The City Wire reports:
Three of Arkansas’ four largest metro areas posted double-digit gains in the number of homes sold in January, with the combined number of homes sold measured by the Arkansas Home Sales Report up 14.8% in January compared to January 2012. January home sales in the Fort Smith metro area were down almost 20%, with the average home sales price down 11%. Home sales were up 25.85% in central Arkansas, up almost 25% in the Jonesboro area, and were up 7.04% in Northwest Arkansas.
In Kentucky, Realty Today reports that the market has improved to the point that more folks are getting into the realty profession:
According to the Kentucky Real Estate Commission, the increase in real estate sales is an indicator that the profession for agents and brokers are also in high demand. Between July and December of last year, nearly 418 individuals applied and took the commission exam for real estate associate, said Michelle Gray, a licensing specialist, in an interview with The Business Journal. She said at this rate, approximately 836 people would have taken the commission exam by the end of this June.
In Mississippi, Marketplace.org reports that the Jackson real estate market is steady:
“Traditionally we’re used to seeing things really crank up about now. It’s what we call the daffodil effect, which is basically once the daffodils start blooming and everything starts blooming, is when the buyers start coming out. It kind of cranked up early for us this year. It started in February and we do have things blooming,” says Tann. Tann, a third-generation realtor, says his family has been in business since 1977 and this past year was the firm’s third best year. He says Jackson hasn’t experienced a lot of the peaks or valleys that a lot of other real estate markets have — partly because a lot of people don’t move in from other areas.
In Oklahoma, mortgage veteran Kent Carter is bullish on the state’s real estate market. The Norman Transcript reports:
Kent Carter is bullish on the real estate industry in general and on Oklahoma in particular. As president of Citywide Mortgage and a veteran of the Oklahoma banking and finance industry, he has ridden the waves of uncertainty and watched the national headlines. Oklahoma, he said, never had the big run-ups in collateral. As a people, we are more risk averse. The dust bowl and oil bust contribute to that mindset. “But oil is strong now. We have a major military presence and our economy did not get overblown,” said Carter. “It’s an exciting time to be in Oklahoma. We’re in great shape. We really are.”
In Tennessee, February real estate sales were strong in February, The Tennessean reports:
February sales of existing homes rose by nearly 18 percent year-over-year, the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors reported in its latest monthly tally. There were 1,784 closings reported during the month, compared to 1,515 in February 2012. “The housing market recovery in this region is proving to be sustainable, particularly in light of the seasonal increases in home sales activity anticipated in the coming months,” said Price Lechleiter, the association’s president, in a statement
Down in Texas, the Austin real estate market entered 2013 strongly The Home Buying Institute reports:
According to Realtor.com, the median list price in the Austin metro area rose 9.73% between January 2012 and January 2013. The total number of homes listed for sale dropped by nearly 19% during the same one-year period. This is no coincidence. Shrinking inventory, along with rising demand for housing, has allowed sellers to justify higher asking prices. This can be seen clearly in the nearly 10% jump in Austin’s median list price. According to the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR), January 2013 marked 20 consecutive months of increased home sales in the area. Last month, 1,402 homes were sold in this real estate market, a 33% increase over the same time last year.
In Dallas, Dallas News reports that the real estate market is hot, hot, hot:
The Dallas home market is near the top of a new list of the country’s “fastest real estate markets” released Friday by Redfin.com. The Seattle-based Internet real estate firm describes these smoking home markets as “having the most homes going under contract in 24 hours or less.” Dallas ranks in fourth place on this nationwide list, right behind Houston, Chicago and Phoenix.
In Houston, The Houston Chronicle reports that the Houston market is hot, too:
Houston was the last city to enter the recession, and the first city to come out of the recession.
While other parts of the country suffered severely declining housing markets, Houston’s housing market remained relatively stable. It is impossible to escape all of the good press that the Houston area has been receiving. It has taken the top spots on some impressive lists, including being ranked Number 1 by Forbes magazine as America’s Coolest City to Live In.
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