Sluggish home sales impacting many realtors -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sluggish home sales impacting many realtors

June 8, 2007

Albany--South Georgia realtors are experiencing a slowdown in the housing market, much like  the rest of the nation. Economists blame inflation and higher interest rates for the sluggish home sales.

All over Albany, local realtors will tell you: "There's a lot of houses on the market," says realtor, Traci Howell.

But lately, not everyone is buying one. "It is a little slow," she says.

Traci Howell works as a realtor for Walden & Kirkland. In the past year, home sales have tumbled thirty percent nationwide.

"Things like that happen from time to time, but I believe it's picking up. Like today nobody is in the office," she says.

For other realtors in Albany, there is no housing slump. "The market has been picking up for me," says realtor, Christina Hawkins.

Hawkins with Good Life Realty says spring and summer are the busiest seasons to purchase a home. "I have six closings for the month of June right now,"

Hawkins blames higher fix-interest rates on the slowdown in the housing mark most realtors are currently experiencing.

"The index is higher than it's been in years, and so your interest rates are going up everyday, and sometimes twice in one day," she says.

But despite that, area realtors say the Albany housing market is going strong.

"In Albany, with all the relocations going on, you are able to negotiate prices and get a better deal this time of year," says Hawkins.

And if you're in the market for a new home, Howell says now is the perfect time to buy. For the simple fact:

"There's houses on the market to choose from," says Howell.

According to economists, existing-home sales are projected to total 6.18 million in 2007 and 6.41 million next year compared to 6.48 million in 2006.