The Tyler area real estate market is remaining strong as home prices and sales increase in this year’s third quarter; however, the election is giving buyers and sellers pause.
The number of home sales in the Tyler area increased by 14.3%, and the median price rose by 9.3% to $235,000, according to the most recent Texas Quarterly Housing Report. Active listings are down by 34.6%
Across the state, home sales rose by 18.4% and the median price increased 8.6% to $266,000 in the third quarter. Active listings are down by 32.4%.
Greater Tyler Association of Realtors Chairman Holly Hightower said she thought the third quarter would be strong, and even during a pandemic the Tyler area market is beating previous years’ records.
“Real estate is always interesting to say the least,” she said. “We expected to have an incredibly strong quarter, and we did.”
However, since the first presidential debate, there has been a “pause” in people buying homes. Hightower said this slow in buying homes is typical for an election year, as people become concerned with politics and how it could affect them.
With the election, census and COVID-19 all in one year, buyers have become apprehensive. But Hightower said she expects the market to see a flood of activity, including new listings and more interest in buying, after Nov. 3.
Hightower said there’s been a surge in the sale of homes between $200,000 to $299,000. The demand for affordable housing, which ranges up to $150,000, is also high.
The higher-end homes – $400,000 and upward – are still going slower than other homes because the more expensive development includes much more personalization, she explained.
The median price of homes increasing is beneficial for buyers, Hightower said, because it means there continues to be value in the home. This in turn helps make a seller’s home more appealing.
Hightower said it continues to be a seller’s market, but sellers are still willing to negotiate with potential buyers.
As people began to work from home due to COVID-19, Hightower said she knew 2020 would be a good year for real estate, but she didn’t think it would be doing this well.
“I knew that if people are spending most of their time at home, home was going to look different,” she said.
She noted that more home buyers and sellers are seeking longevity this year because of the pandemic.
“We all had to pause and reevaluate life, and they did,” Hightower said. “They know what they want home to look like.”
The GTAR representatives serve all areas of East Texas, but its membership includes Smith, Wood, Cherokee, Henderson and Hopkins counties.
Hightower’s advice for buyers is to worry about big issues like roofing, the air conditioning system and plumbing, not the cosmetics. She said sellers should have their home ready when putting it on the market.
“The more appealing the property is to the buyer is a good thing,” she said.
For both parties, Hightower emphasized the importance of working with local real estate professionals who know the area and housing market trends.
“Don’t get someone that doesn’t know your area,” she said. “Make sure they have geographic competency.”