There were 210 homes sold last month, a 0.962 percent increase from the 208 units sold in November 2011, according to figures released Monday by the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors. Last month's home sales were a 27.34 percent decline from the 289 units sold here in October.
Steve Nix, co-owner of Nix Construction Inc. and president of the Tyler Area Builders Association, said the latest numbers indicate that optimism among homebuyers is growing, and hopefully that will continue into 2013.
“Our company has seen an increase in inquiries and new home prospects this year over 2011, as have many of the other builders in TABA,” he said. “These certainly are encouraging signs of growth, and we are blessed to be living in East Texas.”
Nix said the industry as a whole, however, is still dealing with regulatory, appraisal and construction financing challenges that will have to be addressed on a national level before the home building industry can really bounce back.
Mary Smith, RE/MAX broker associate and chairwoman of the Greater Tyler Association of Realtor's PR Committee, said the November figures indicate there has been a slight slowing of the recovery experienced in the area. However, the numbers continue to indicate an overall recovery trend, she added.
The Tyler area's median home price for November was $143,500, a 4.3 percent slump from the median price of $149,950 seen here in November 2011, and a 5.59 percent jump from $135,900 in October.
Doug Makowsky, owner and president of Doug Makowsky Homes, Inc., builds custom homes in Bullard and said home building and selling in East Texas has continued to improve over the past year.
“For me, business started picking up about this time last year,” he said. “This has been a very good year for us. I hope it continues into 2013 and we see business as usual after the first of the year. I feel really good about where we're heading.”
Ms. Smith said the total number of homes available in November was down about 2 percent from the same month a year ago, while the year-to-date median sales price is up slightly.
“This data supports the supply and demand theory that when supply is diminished and demand remains the same or increases, prices will increase,” she said.
In November, the average time on the market was only 102 days, compared to 112 days the month before.
The Tyler area's home inventory stood at 11.1 months in October, the latest month for which figures from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University were available. That is down from the 13 months seen the same time last year and 11.6 months in September .
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.
Smith County saw 12 foreclosures in November, according to the latest figures available from RealtyTrac. There were 10 foreclosures in the county in both October and September.
“Greater Tyler Association of Realtors still anticipates strong sales numbers for 2013, although there is some concern as to how the continually changing mortgage requirements will impact the overall market,” Ms. Smith said.