December was another strong month for the Central Texas housing market.
According to numbers from the Fort Hood Association of Realtors and the Temple-Belton Board of Realtors MLS databases, there were 250 home sales in December. The number exceeded home sales in January, February, March, September and November. December also saw seven more homes sold than the 243 sold in December 2011.
“December has been an unpredictable month in recent history,” said Scott Shine, a real estate agent at the Shine Team in Harker Heights. “Therefore, it’s great to see such strong sales to help build momentum going into 2013.”
Ninety-nine of the 250 homes sold in December were priced between $125,000 and $174,999. Another 48 homes sold were between $175,000 and $249,999.
Eva Keagle, a Realtor at ERA Colonial in Harker Heights, offered an explanation for the concentration of sales of homes less than $200,000. She said buyers can simply get more house for their money in Central Texas.
“If you look at the MLS system, if you go over $200,000, you are in the top 10 percent in our market,” Keagle said. “In other parts of the country, $200,000 would equate to what people in our market get for $125,000.”
The numbers also reflect a late 2012 surge for home sales in the $300,000 to $399,999 price range.
“The unusually high mark of 15 sales in November increased to 16 sales in December,” Shine said. “Those two months represent 30 percent of the total sales in the $300,000 to $399,999 price band in 2012.”
Texas A&M University Real Estate Center Research Economist Jim Gaines said ending the year strongly is psychologically important for the Central Texas real estate market.
“It is giving us a clear sign that a (housing market) recovery is in progress,” Gaines said. “That positive attitude causes people to act accordingly.”