Tyler-area home sales show 12.62 percent increase compared to ’12

Published on Monday, 16 September 2013 23:47 - Written by CASEY MURPHY cmurphy@tylerpaper.com

Tyler-area home sales jumped 12.62 percent in August compared to a year ago.

There were 357 homes sold here last month, while 317 units sold in August 2012, according to the latest figures released by the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors.

Chris Banks, owner of Chris Banks Properties LLC and member of the Tyler Area Builders Association, said he has seen continued improvement over the past three years as many prospective home buyers have stopped listening to all the “doom and gloom.”

Year-to-date, there have been 2,538 homes sold in the Tyler area. That’s a 12.7 spike from the same time period last year, when 2,252 houses sold.

“We’ve seen a lot of people upsizing lately,” Banks said. “I’ve got two houses we’re selling right now to people who had smaller homes and are moving to larger homes. That’s the opposite of what it was a few years ago.”

The median home price in the Tyler area for August was $146,500, a 1.03 percent increase from $145,000 seen here the same time last year. Last month’s price was a 3.62 percent decrease from the median price was $152,000 in July.

Banks said he has seen the average price of homes he builds climb from $140,000 up to around $270,000 as demand for larger homes with amenities has increased.

“We couldn’t have sold houses at that price two to three years ago,” he said, adding that his commercial real estate business is also improving. “A few years ago, we were getting no calls. Now, I get calls once or twice a week from people looking for space.”

Jim McCain, broker/owner of RE/MAX Tyler and member of the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors, said the housing market in Smith County is stable, and consumer confidence has been much better this year.

“We still have a pretty high inventory level, which means sellers still need to get the price right,” McCain said. “Homes that are move-in-ready will sell much faster. Interest rates are still very low. It is good to be in East Texas.”

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

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.

“I am having more buyers wanting new construction, and the new homes have been selling quickly,” said Shelia Turner-Cooper, Realtor with RE/MAX Impact. “Also, I think there is a shortage of homes currently on the market. It’s been a little slower this past month.”