Real estate will get even stronger

Published 2:45 am Friday, January 1, 2016


The local real estate market improved in 2015, and better things are predicted for 2016.

“We are looking forward to a prosperous real estate market in Andalusia and throughout Covington County for 2016,” Advantage Realty broker Donna Raines said. “2015 was a good year for our area real estate market and even though we saw a small price adjustment, sales were still good.”


Raines said Realtors cleared inventory in 2015 that had been on the market for years.

“We are excited about new properties, both residential and commercial, that will be offered in 2016,” she said. “2016 also brings the possibilities of new businesses in the area, as several agents are working with industry leaders to help make this happen, which will lead to more homes sold. We expect total home sales to increase at least 3 percent in 2016. “

While slight increases in mortgage rates are expected, Raines said she doesn’t expect the increases to be large enough to slow the market.

“Mortgage companies and local banks have money to lend and are still lending at very low interest rates,” she said. “Those rates may go up a little but we don’t expect them to have a big increase. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage will likely average below 4.5 percent for 2016 on an annualized basis. FHA and VA continue to improve their programs to help get homeowners into their homes with little or no money down.

“All of these things combine for a prosperous outlook for 2016,” she said..