Local Realtors report better numbers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 14, 2019

By: Kendra Majors

Local Realtors are reporting a better real estate market when compared to this time last year.

Debra Donaldson, president of the Covington Association of Realtors, said that in July, local Realtors closed 34 residential home sales. In 2018, they closed 32.

Donaldson said prices are also increasing in the county.

The average price of a single-family residence is $109,812.

Additionally, 215 homes have sold in Covington County during the first half of 2019.

Comparatively, 204 homes sold the same timeframe in 2018.

The average selling price in 2019 has been $109,850 compared to $108,000 last year.

The uptick in home prices is forecast to increase some 5.2 percent from June 2019 to June 2020, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index Report.

Donaldson said interest rates are staying around 3.5 to 4.5 percent.

“So, now is a good time to sell your home,” she said.

Freddie Mac, national home financer’s latest report shows the average rate on a 30-year mortgage down to 3.60 percent from a week ago. That’s the lowest since November 2016. A 15-year loan rate decreased to an average of 3.05 percent.

Freddie Mac’s report shows that both rates are down nearly 1 percent from a year ago.

CoreLogic reported that home mortgage delinquencies were down to just 3.6 percent in May, the most recent numbers available. Earlier this year that number was 4.6 percent.

Since March 2018 the overall delinquency rate each month has been lower than during the pre-crisis period of 2000 through 2006 when the rate averaged 4.7%.

CoreLogic attributes stable job growth, mortgage funding and underwriting to the housing market recovering from its historic crash.

The recession led to an influx in renters as homeowners grappled with home value loss. From the third quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2012, the homeowner population plummeted, while 12.9 million households joined the rental market. Fast forward to the end of the first quarter of 2019, and the tables have turned with 1.1 million new homeowners and only 458,000 new renters. However, the lack of inventory continues to drive up home prices throughout the country with increasing costs of labor and materials further compounding the issue.