Gains in existing home sales and median prices during the past three months have lifted the Coastal Bend’s housing market to its highest levels since the local housing slump began in 2007.
Sales closed between April and June numbered 1,172 units, or about a 19 percent increase compared to the same time in 2011, according to figures from the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.
The median sales price also has risen by more than 8 percent compared with 2011 to $145,367, figures show.
Housing inventory — measured as the amount of time it would take to sell all available existing homes — has dropped almost by half to 5.6 months in June compared with 10 months in June 2011.
There was a monthly average of about 2,200 homes for resale on the area’s housing market during the period, figures show.
The increased buying activity spans all price ranges, said Char Atnip, a residential Realtor and chairman of the realtors association board.
“There’s a lot more people who are looking simply because interest rates are so low and prices have not skyrocketed, and it’s a great time to buy a home,” Atnip said.
New home construction activity has also increased compared to 2011.
In Corpus Christi, data from the city’s Development Services department shows there have been 449 permits issued this year for new residential construction through June, up 61 percent from the first six months of 2011.
The permits have an associated project cost of more than $82 million, figures show.
All but one of those permits is for single-family homes, with one being issued for an eight-unit building.
In all of 2011, the city logged 660 new construction permits for projects totaling more than $118 million
The local figures are similar to momentum building in many areas of the country, with builders beginning to respond to growing buyer interest.
U.S. builders broke ground on the most homes in nearly four years in June, The Associated Press reported this week.
The housing inventory of less than six months is approaching the five-month mark, which is what the area experienced during the housing boom between 2004 and 2006, said Jim Lee, economics professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
A normal inventory for the Corpus Christi market is about seven months.
Low inventories typically trigger increased prices as supply dips and demand increases.
Home building can also increase, which is good for local economies, because it generates activity that isn’t exported to other areas, Lee said.
During the area’s most recent housing boom period, construction outpaced the area’s growth rate, which contributed to the slump, Lee said.
Source: Corpus Christi Association of Realtors via Caller Times. Read the original at housing market or housing or home sales, – Google News.