• August 22, 2014

Area home sales drop slightly, foreclosure sales stay strong

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Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:45 pm

Home sales between March and April decreased by seven residences, which was three fewer homes than April 2013.

“Right now I think (sales) are pretty steady,” said Jose Segarra, a Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors spokesman. “It’s just down a little bit, but at least it is still above the 200 mark.”

The 215 homes sold in April for the geographic area from Nolanville to Lampasas and Florence to Gatesville have maintained a strong 2014, Segarra said. March was the first month for the year to break 200 home sales, which happened in April 2013.

Sales this year have been good, said Realtor Stephanie Nash of ERA Colonial Real Estate.

“As far as our business, we had a better April this year than we did last year,” Nash said about her sales. “My sales are pacing with 2010, which is good because in 2011 and 2012 the market was down.”

January, February and March also were great months for Nash, she said.

May will probably be a better month as the number of homes sales are predicted to climb during the summer, Nash and Segarra said.

Nash anticipates closing on at least six homes this month, she said.

June and July are traditionally the months for the highest home sales nationwide, because moving does not conflict with school schedules, Segarra said. The Fort Hood area follows that trend.

The season will mean increased inventory in the market as well, he said. But that will give buyers a larger selection, meaning sales probably will occur faster.

Foreclosure sales

The selling of foreclosed homes has been a steadily growing trend for the area, too, Segarra said.

Of the 215 homes sold in April, 51 of the homes were foreclosures, according to a Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors report.

Investors are purchasing homes that range between $40,000 and $60,000, renovating them and then renting them out, Segarra said. Most of those purchases are cash offers, which is a benefit because it means the homes probably won’t be back on the market as with previous years.

“Last year we did 326 cash offers,” Segarra said. “This year it is 510, and that is for a 12-month period ending in April. Two years ago the number was 265. Cash purchases have gone up 92 percent.”

Banks have placed foreclosed homes on the market at aggressive prices, which generate more bids, Nash said. One home for which she tried to negotiate a closing received nine offers.

The number of homes going into foreclosure also decreased, according to the report, which Segarra said is a sign of more responsible home buyers.

Increased sales in foreclosures is one factor contributing to a lowering median home sales price, he said. The median price is $123,000, which is good for buyers because homes being sold cost less, he said.

Homes in the $110,000 range have sold well in Copperas Cove this year, and Killeen and Harker Heights homes in the upper price ranges are moving well, too, Nash said.

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