After a glum year in real estate, home sales in the Tyler area during the year’s first quarter spiked more than 17 percent from the same time last year.
There were 665 homes sold during the first three months of 2012, a 17.7 percent jump from the 565 units sold during the first quarter of 2011.
Local realtors believe the real estate market is strengthening after the Tyler area saw a 12.45 percent hike in home sales in March compared to the same time last year.
There were 271 houses sold here last month, up from 241 units sold in Marc, 2011, according to figures released Wednesday from the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors.
The most recent sales were also an increase of 20.44 percent from the 225 homes sold in February.
Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, said underlying factors are much better compared to a year ago.
“Although relatively unusual, there will be a rising demand for both rental space and homeownership this year.”
The median sales price of a home in the Tyler area in March was $136,000, a 2.26 percent hike from the median price of $133,000 experienced the same time a year ago and in February.
Mary Smith, RE/MAX broker associate and chairwoman of the Greater Tyler Association of Realtor’s public relations committee, agreed with Yun.
“The current market is very attractive for investors and other buyers who want to take advantage of the favorable interest rates,” she said. “Several buyers have indicated that they feel that this is the best time to invest in their future by securing a home before the interest rates start to escalate.”
She said the rental market has been good this year, which encourages investors to continue to buy rental properties.
Home inventory is how long based on the past year’s sales rate it would take to clear out existing inventory, with no more homes introduced into the market.
Although the inventory of homes remained constant for the last two months reported, Greater Tyler Area Association of Realtors data indicates the average days on the market for existing homes is decreasing, which typically results in a tightening of the inventory, Ms. Smith said. Overall, the market trends continue to indicate that the local real estate market is strengthening.
Smith County saw 24 foreclosures in February, up from 12 in January and eight in December, according to the latest figures available from RealtyTrac.
Total home sales for Texas in February were up 20.73 percent from a year ago, according to the latest figures from Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
There were 14,699 houses sold in February, compared to 12,175 in February 2011. The latest month’s sales are also a 24.99 percent increase from the 11,760 units sold in January.
Texas’ median home price for February was $146,700, a 0.411 percent increase from $146,100 the same time a year ago. It’s also a 6.3 percent spike from January’s median price of $138,000.
At six months, the state’s inventory remained the same in February for the third consecutive month and dropped from 7.4 months in February 2011.