There were 227 houses sold last month, a 0.889 percent increase from the 225 units sold in February 2012, according to figures released Thursday by the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors.
February’s sales were a 15.23 percent increase from the 197 units sold in January.
“Most definitely, activity has increased in the Tyler market,” said Lorri Loggins, broker/owner of Cornerstone Brokerage Realtor and president of the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors. It “seems buyers that have been leasing are ready to purchase.”
Jeff Andreason, president of Heritage Builders, said the numbers mirror an improving trend for new home construction in the Tyler area.
“Last year was our best year since 2007,” he said. “We anticipate a similar or better year for 2013.”
The median home price last month was $145,000, a 9.02 percent jump from the median price of $133,000 seen here a year ago, and a 13.3 percent increase over January’s price of $128,000.
Jerry Alexander, owner of Red Baron Building Co., said he has seen the activity for new construction and remodels trending up the past several weeks.
“I think the building industry in Tyler is poised for growth,” he said. “We have had a strong start this year with a lot of interest in homes between $180,000 and $230,000. We are confident that the market is improving and, therefore, have increased our speculation inventory.”
The Tyler area’s home inventory stood at 10 months in February and January, according to the latest figures available from Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
That is down from 11.7 months a year ago.
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.
“While inventory is down, the Tyler area still has plenty of property to view,” Ms. Loggins said. “But, I am telling buyers, if you see a property, you had better jump on it. For the first time in a long time, we are seeing multiple offers.”
For the first time this year, Tyler is among 23 Texas cities on the March National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). The index identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health.
This is the first time Tyler as made the list this year.
“As the economy is improving, our builders are seeing more and more clients who may have been watching and waiting for the last few years,” Tyler Area Builders Association Executive Vice President Libby Simmons said. “These numbers are a continuing sign that things are improving.”
A list of all 274 metropolitan areas on the IMI can be found at www.nahb.org/imi.