Housing market still viable - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Housing market still viable

August 24, 2007

Albany -- Even after the recent nationwide mortgage scare, the American housing market shows signs of renewed. The Commerce Department reported that new-home sales rose 2.8 percent in July.

This came as a surprise to many, as analysts had forecast a decrease of one-point four percent for July. Real estate agents in South Georgia say the market here continues to be much stronger than the national market, even on pace to exceed the record sales of 2006.

Agents say that area builders and real estate agents are offering an array of incentives to attract buyers.

"There are a lot of builders that are putting incentives on their homes, they will add an extra deck, they will do a lot more sodding or make some changes in the home and not reflect it in the pricing, or a lot of them are doing redecorating bonuses of a thousand, fifteen hundred, even two thousand dollars," said Ralph Paustian of Century 21 Realty.

Many of the incentives for buyers locally and nationally are being used to keep up with an increase in housing inventory that shows no near term signs of a slowdown.

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