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Report: Cost of homes in area climbs

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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 4:30 am

The median home price in the Killeen-Fort Hood area rose 7.4 percent in July 2012, compared to the same month last year, according to a report provided by the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors.

The median home price in the area is now $128,865, compared to $119,990 in July 2011. The number of homes sold in July 2012 also increased to 283, up from 175 in July 2011.

“The main thing is demand,” said Michael DeHart, executive officer of the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors. “There are just more people buying homes.”

Jose Segarra, a Killeen City Council member and owner of Exit Homevets Realty, said military personnel are driving home values up.

“In the past 10 years, we’ve always had troop rotations,” Segarra said. “Right now we aren’t seeing that.”

The influx of returning troops could balance out the slow growth of 2011, Segarra said.

“You can say it was pretty much zero appreciation last year at this time compared to the year before,” Segarra said. “It was pretty much flat.”

Good or bad?

Killeen real estate veteran Jim Wright, owner/broker at Jim Wright Company, said whether the increased home values are a good or bad thing depends on your perspective.

“If you are a buyer, it is a minus,” he said. “If you’re a seller, it’s a plus. It depends on what side of the fence you are on.”

DeHart said lenders are also loosening their purse strings a bit.

“There is a little more money available,” he said.

Although home prices have increased every month so far in 2012, Segarra does not see it as a long-term trend. He said a 3 to 4 percent annual increase is more realistic. He added it might be better that way.

“Sometimes if the market goes to crazy, it can be bad,” he said. “That is why the bubble burst several years ago.”

“When its all said and done, we’ll probably be back down to normal levels,” he added.

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