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Real estate’s rebounding

The real estate market is right, whether you’re selling or buying.

And local realtors have the numbers to prove it, said Donna Raines, president of the Covington County Association of Realtors, as figures show more homes are selling and sellers are getting more for their property.

When comparing year-to-date figures from 2013 to the same period in 2012, it shows:

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• 36 houses versus 42 in the $0 to $99,999 range were sold;

• 13 houses versus six in the $100K to $159,999 range were sold;

• seven houses versus four in the $160K to $199,999 range were sold; and,

• eight houses versus three in the $200K and up range were sold.

“And that breaks down into $1.5 million more in volume in the first few months of 2013 compared to the same period last year,” Raines said. “Which means more money for sellers, and because of financing and low interest rates, people are able to buy a more higher price house, which is the trend in 2013.”

The average sold price this year is $108,324, compared to the $86,996 this time last year, she said. Also, after a couple of years of slower sales, sales in the Gantt Lake and Pt. A Lake areas have also improved this year, Raines said.

For buyers, the market is also good – financing is easier and interest rates are low.

To date, 61 houses have sold in Covington County during 2013. While the majority of purchasers obtaining either conventional financing or FHA and VA loans, most would be surprised to learn 23 sales were cash purchases and six were owner-financed.

“People are thinking outside of the box when it comes to figuring out how to get in and buy a house, too,” Raines said. “I think that’s fantastic.”

Local participation at the Saturday National Open House event was positive, Raines said.

“Our goal was to participate with the national association and to get people inside houses,” she said. “We did and laid the groundwork for future sales. The people that came out were prospects, looking for houses, not just sightseeing.”