Tyler-area homes sales increase again

Published on Friday, 19 July 2013 18:53 - Written by By Casey Murphy cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

Tyler-area home sales jumped 10.93 percent in June compared to a year ago.

There were 335 houses sold last month, while 302 units sold in June 2010, according to the latest figures released Friday by the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors (GTAR). Last month’s sales were also a 2.76 percent increase from May, when 326 homes were sold.

S.E. “Scott” Greene, owner of Boulevard Homes, said the uptick in sales and prices is “good news all the way around.”

He said the Tyler economy overall is strong and growing.

“I believe our medical community continues to be the driving force for the influx of retirees and empty nesters,” he said.

June’s median home price was $157,000, a 5.33 percent spike from the year before, when the median price was $149,050. Last month’s pricing was a 4.91 percent increase from the same time last year.

Greene said his home on this year’s Tyler Area Builders Association’s Parade of Homes had a record number of attendees – 4,000 or more visitors. Feedback from consumers was that a large percentage of Tylerites were looking to buy or build a home within six to 12 months. He said a small percentage of patrons from out of town told him they planned to move to the Tyler area in the next three to six months and were looking for housing.

Greene has been building homes since 1999 and established Boulevard Homes about 12 years ago. He said he builds homes in the $250,000 to $450,000 range in Smith County. He also does land development and is partners in a joint venture that is constructing a 25-building duplex rental community, Vista Lago, near Lago del Pino.

He said his realtors are telling him it is “no longer a buyer’s market; it’s a seller’s market.” Inventory levels are low, he added.

The Tyler area’s home inventory stood at 10.8 months in June, according to the latest figures available from Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. That is up from May, when it stood at 10.7 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.

“With home prices increasing in Tyler and the days on the market have decreased, sellers are no longer sitting on the fence wondering if this is a good time to sell,” Larry Lewis, broker for Lewis Realty, said in a prepared statement. “At the same time, buyers are anxious to buy as the interest rates start to creep up and the inventory of homes are new and are changing every day.”

Carla Turner, Realtor for Omni Real Estate, said buying activity for her has picked up tremendously. “It’s continuing to be a busy summer,” she said.