There were 3,162 homes sold in 2012, compared to 2,866 sold in 2011, according to figures released by the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors.
Median sales prices were also on the rise, with 2012 finishing at 2.21 percent higher than the year before, said Lorri Loggins, broker/Realtor of Cornerstone Brokerage, LLC and president of the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors.
“We are feeling very optimistic as we spring into 2013,” she said.
Ed Thompson, Tyler Area Builders Association board member and owner of Ed Thompson Construction, said he’s not surprised by the growth in the Tyler market.
“Texas as a whole didn’t get hit as hard as other areas of the country, and Tyler fared better than the rest of the state,” he said. “I’m very encouraged to see the numbers we’ve seen and the development that’s happening again in certain areas. We’re starting the year off slowly, but by summer I think the market is going to come roaring back.”
The Tyler area saw 234 homes sold in December, an 18.18 percent jump from the same time the year before and an 11.43 percent increase from November.
The median price of a home in the area was $139,500 last month, 7.51 percent more than the $129,750 median price seen here the same time a year ago, but a 2.79 percent slump from the $143,500 price in November.
She said home sellers who where showing some reservations are now showing interest as activity and home prices seem to be on the rise.
“We are very excited about real estate in 2013,” Ms. Adkinson said.
Ms. Loggins reported that 2012 ended with 9.4 months of inventory, which she called a “substantial decrease” of 13 months in 2011. The average number of days a house stayed on the market for the year was 113 days, she added.
The Tyler area’s home inventory stood at 10 months in December, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. That is down from the 10.9 months seen in November and 11.4 months a year ago.
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.
Thompson said the challenge this year will be that many builders have moved away from spec houses, meaning the inventory of new homes that are already built will be low.
“We’ve seen some pickup in new construction, and the market as a whole in the $100,000-$150,000 range,” said Rudy Wright, Tyler Area Builders Association member and owner of Wright-Way Services. “The higher end houses are still harder to move. I’m cautiously optimistic. We’re going to make the most of each opportunity we are blessed with. But there are still a lot of unknowns for 2013.”
Smith County saw seven foreclosures in December, according to the latest figures available from RealtyTrac. There were 12 foreclosures in November and 10 foreclosures in the county in both October and September.
Ms. Loggins reminded consumers that they can find the most up-to-date Multiple Listing Service at www.gtar.com.