Archived Story

Real estate sales up 51.7 percent

Published 1:40pm Friday, September 6, 2013

A recent report shows an increase in home sales for the Lake Martin area over 2012.
According to an Alabama Center for Real Estate report, the Lake Martin area saw a 51.7 percent increase in residential sales for July from the same period in 2012.
The 51.7 percent increase represents 44 residential closings for July 2013, which is an increase of 15 units from July 2012 and just six units shy of the 2006 record for most closed transactions for the month over the last 10 years.
Steve Arnberg, vice president of real estate sales for Russell Lands on Lake Martin, said increased consumer signs and rising prices are positive signs for the local housing market.
“It’s not unexpected. It had to happen at some point. The overall economy has been improving and inventory has slowly but surely begun to increase,” Arnberg said. “The overall perception people have is that the economy is improving, and then they see average prices and median prices ticking up month after month over a significant period of time.”
Arnberg added that when consumers see that interest rates were low and are beginning to move up, they sense they might be missing an opportunity to lock in at a really good rate.
In July 2012, the average sale price in the Lake Martin area was $235,087, but in July 2013 the sale price was up 34.5 percent to $316,182.
Bobby Tapley of Realty South said the area has seen an increase of homes sold so far this year.
“The market has definitely increased over this time last year. As of today, according to our MLS (multiple listing service) there have been 325 homes closed on so far this year,” Tapley said. “That is up 15 percent over this time last year. Last year, there had only been 284 homes sold. Currently, we have 64 homes pending right now on the market, which is roughly 10 percent of our active listings.”
Tapley said the numbers are certainly a good sign, but the market would get an even bigger boost once new home construction begins and new inventory is added.
“I really think consumer confidence is back,” Tapley said. “The new home construction is still behind what it was back in the heyday, and once new home construction starts back it will be a big boost for the housing market.”