Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Real estate experts optimistic for 2012

CANTON — While home sales tumbled in December, Cherokee County’s real estate market fared better in 2011 than it did in 2010, and local experts are optimistic about the future.

There were 210 home sales last month, according to First Multiple Listing Service, a data services provider for real estate professionals. The total might increase, because not all sales are immediately reported.

That’s down from 234 reported in November, but higher than 208 reported in December 2010.

More homes were sold last year when compared to 2010, with 2,799 sales coming through in 2011 and only 2,348 reported at the close of 2010.

For Camille Gard of Prudential Georgia Realty, those numbers reflect recent data she’s reviewed. Gard said last year was better than 2010 and 2012 is poised to be better for Cherokee County.

“Everyone is excited about what’s coming,” she said.

The average sales price in December was $175,973, down from $180,323 in November and $202,694 in December 2010. Cherokee County had 277 new listings last month, down from 326 in November and 372 in December 2010.

Gard said the housing industry is coming back strong because builders have returned to complete or are starting subdivisions. She said she recently learned there were close to a million new families formed last year and, if that trend continues, the country will soon face pent up demand.

As far as local trends, Rick Steiner with Keller Williams Realty said he’s seeing a lot of first-time homebuyers taking advantage of the foreclosures and short sales on the market. The abundance of foreclosed properties and short sales on the market is something many real estate agents have to adjust their businesses to in order to survive, Steiner added.

He said his office was bombarded after the new year with calls from people inquiring about pricing and possibly selling their homes, which he said could be indicative of what’s to come. Steiner said he’s beginning to see signs of life in the economy as the unemployment rate recently declined slightly and builders are beginning to creep back into the housing market.

He noted those trends need to continue in order to make the predictions of a positive 2012 become a reality.

“I’m hoping for a positive 2012 for the real estate business,” he said.


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