“Nothing to get alarmed about,” said Greater Rome Board of Realtors President Jason Free, who works at Keller Williams Realty. “It just lets us know that we’re not out of the woods yet.”
The realtor said one thing that did pose a little concern was the fact that foreclosures were up in June, as 19 new foreclosures were reported last month, compared to just seven in June of 2011.
The average sales price for homes sold in June was also down 22.2 percent from the same month of the previous year.
“Eight percent of the transactions that have taken place this last month were in the $150,000-and-below category,” Free said.
It marked the first time since February of this year that the average sales price dipped below $100,000, at $97,245. In June of 2011, the average sales price was $124,939.
Six months into 2012 the number of sales is up 24.2 percent compared to the first six months of last year — 374 sales have been closed through the end of June in 2012, as opposed to 301 through the first half of 2011.
Brooke Brinson, an agent at Hardy Realty, said he’s had a number of multi-offer situations for a home.
“That hasn’t happened in the last four or five years,” he said.
Brinson thinks a number of buyers are simply tired of waiting.
“Once you get a few sold, then they have to buy something, Brinson said. “The interest rates are staying very low and that’s good. The ones that price it right from the get-go sell quicker.”
The news continues to be problematic for homebuilders in the Rome area. The residential construction sector has been almost non-existent for the last three or four years.
“Right now we’ve got an 11 to 12 month supply of inventory, and most builders don’t start building spec houses until we’re in the six-to-eight-month supply range,” Free said. “We’re still a ways from seeing that happen, so jobs are lagging behind. We’re kind of stuck right there.”
Free said that one positive note about the housing scene is that Congress agreed to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for five years.
“Anything that is in the flood plain is required to have that,” Free said. “That’s a big thing in our market.”
Brinson said he is still very excited overall about activity in the local real estate market right now.