Homes sales break records; up 26 percent

Published on Monday, 14 July 2014 22:46 - Written by CASEY MURPHY cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

The Tyler area saw record-breaking home sales in June, skyrocketing by 26.27 percent over the same time a year ago.

There were 423 houses sold last month, the most ever sold in the area for the month of June, according to records kept by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. The last time home sales came close for the month was when 386 houses were sold in 2006.

“It’s off the charts,” Jason Gregory, of Gregory Realty and Property Management, said of home sales in the Tyler area.

“People are moving here in leaps and bounds,” he said, citing the recent report that U.S. Census Bureau estimates Tyler’s population as more than 100,000.

Last month’s sales compared to 335 in June 2013, according to the latest figures for the greater Tyler area released by the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors. June’s sales were also a 9.02 percent jump from the 388 units sold in May.

Gregory, GTAR president, said interest rates remain low, people continue to move here and people typically buy more homes in the summer. He said they can’t keep homes in the $85,000 to $175,000 range on the shelves.

Gregory has seen a 3.5 percent interest rate on a 15-year fixed loan and a 4.2 percent rate on a 30-year fixed loan, which he said were “awful cheap.”

The median home price last month was $156,500, a slight decline of 0.318 percent from $156,500 seen here the month before. June’s median price was an increase of 4.33 percent from $150,000 in May.

John McKinney, of McKinney Homes in Tyler, builds single-family homes in the Smith County area and said he is seeing more homes being built in the range of $225,000 to $250,000.

Gregory also has a property management company and said he is seeing a lot of investors buying homes to turn into rental properties. Home sales and rentals are both up, he added.

As far as inventory, Gregory said he has gotten three new listings in the last two weeks. People are seeing good prices and are putting their homes on the market.

“It’s a good time to be selling your home,” he said.

The home inventory for the greater Tyler area reported by GTAR was 9.3 months in June, up from 9.2 months in May, but down from 9.5 months in April and 9.4 months in March. The home inventory in June 2013 was 10.8 months.

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.

McKinney, a member of the Tyler Area Builders Association, said a lot of people are moving to the area and home inventory is low, which is driving home construction up.

He said Tyler is a good market that has been up pretty steady.

Gregory believes home sales will slow a bit after the summer ends, around September, and he thinks next year will be slower pending elections.