Housing market steady

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2010

While it’s taking a longer to sell homes locally, real estate agents are reporting sales prices are higher and sales are holding steady.

Covington Association of Realtors President Debra Donaldson said that while the national and even state picture looks grim, locally, sales are holding steady.

In July, local realtors sold 18 homes, which is down from the 20 sold in May. To date, 13 homes have been sold in August.

While August hasn’t quite caught up to the number of homes sold last month, the average price is higher at $124,139 for August, compared to $70,450 in July, she said.

Donaldson said homes are staying on the market longer.

In July, the average days on the market were 132; this month, that number grew to 253.

For the year, Donaldson said local real estate agents have sold 59 homes with an average price of $99,243, with an average of 175 days on the market.

Last year, agents sold 188 homes with an average price of $101,783, Donaldson said.

Statewide, sales of previously-occupied homes fell by 25.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago, mirroring the decline nationally as a federal credit for homebuyers came to an end.

Nationally, the sale of existing homes fell 25.5 percent in July compared to the same month in 2009.

The national market saw the biggest monthly decline in four decades from June to July at 27.2 percent.

Some in the real estate industry say the numbers were likely skewed since the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers ended for homes that closed after June 30.

Donaldson said that local agents are still seeing a good number of people looking to purchase a new home.

“There is money for home loans available,” she said. “Interest rates are low. I think everyone should be purchasing a new home.”

There are still tax advantages other than the tax rebate that was being offered, she said.

Donaldson said a home says stability for families.

“Owning your own home is a great investment,” she said.

Local real estate agents are reporting higher sales prices and steady sales. | Kendra Bolling/ Star-News