Realtors optimistic for 2013 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Realtors optimistic for 2013

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

Have you noticed fewer FOR SALE signs lately?

South Georgia real estate agents say they are starting to sell more houses.

But they also say there is still a long way to go to make 2013 a strong year.

Real estate agents say 2010 was a little better than 2009.

And '11 was better than '10.

But what about 2012?

"People were optimistic and 2012 was a better year. Not significantly better, but better because things were not flat or worse then the years past. So we're seeing some signs of improvement," said First Thomasville Realty Owner Mills Herndon

Herndon says foreclosure orders did slow down before the election, but things did pick back up in November.

"The problem with that is that tends to keep values down and comps down and prices down. So until we finish that and flood those out of the market, we won't see a big appreciation in housing prices."

Herndon says the one thing that can bring the market back up is jobs. "Probably 75 percent of the houses that we sold, and we sold 489 units last year, 75 percent of those units were under $100,000. So most of those are first time home buyers and people getting out of school and getting jobs and those kinds of things. So it's critical."

Realtors say with interest rates as low as they are, now is still a great time to buy, if you can get the financing.

"The financing is available, but the underwriter requirements to get a mortgage are extremely difficult. So if you have good credit, really good credit, the interest rates are still very low," said Herndon.

Herndon says as long as consumer confidence continues to rise, and unemployment continues to drop, the market will one day thrive as it did before the recession.

U.S. banks completed foreclosure on about 60 thousand homes in November.

That was an 11 percent increase from October.

 

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