County residential real estate sales up slightly

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This home is among those for sale in Covington County. | Courtesy photo

Local residents have purchased more homes in the last year than this time last year, real estate officials said Tuesday.

For the last 365-day period, Tripp Bass, co-owner of the Bass Agency, said residential home sales have increased to 233 homes sold, which is up slightly from the same time period in 2010, where only 226 homes were sold.

“So, the actual number of homes sold is up,” he said. “That’s a good thing.”

The average home sale price has decreased slightly, he said.

The average Covington County home has sold for $93,100, which is down from $99,934 in 2010.

“They are, in fact, selling for a little bit less,” he said.

And properties are staying on the market less days this year, compared to last year, Bass said.

“And that’s good news for everyone,” he said. “For the last 365 days, homes have stayed on the market an average of 179 days compared to 182 days on the market this time last year.”

Total volume of all real estate transactions, including land sales, is $62,373,636 for the past year, which is down slightly from $63,176,798 last year.

Overall, the county’s real estate market is “stable,” Bass said.

“It’s even shown improvement in the last six months,” he said. “Comparing the last two quarters, we have good news.”

Additionally, Bass said customers can take advantage of historically low interest rate.

“It’s a perfect time to buy,” he said.

The county is falling in line with the nation, who saw an increase in home sales in October, but the median sales price fell to it lowest level of the year.

New-home sales increased 1.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, officials said.

That’s less than half the 700,000 that economists say indicate a healthy housing market.

While new-homes sales represent a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

“New” home sales fell to an all-time low of 162,000 in the month of October.

New homebuilders have struggled to compete against resales, which are also low.

The median price is down to $212,300 nationally.