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Longview-area home sales up 6 percent through October

By Jo Lee Ferguson Special to the News-Journal
Nov. 24, 2014 at 6:22 p.m.


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<p>Longview-area home sales are poised to finish the year ahead of a year ago, with the number of houses sold through October nearly 6 percent ahead of last year's pace. Average sale prices, however, were down slightly.</p>

<p>The Longview Area Association of Realtors said 1,925 homes were sold through the first 10 months of the year in its Multiple Listing Service, which covers Gregg, Harrison, Cass, Marion, Panola, Rusk, Smith, Upshur, Wood, Camp, Titus and Morris counties. During the same period a year ago, 1,817 were sold.</p>

<p>The average sales price through October was $161,313, the association said. That was down just more than 2 percent from an average of $164,948 a year ago.</p>

<p>The multiple listing service covers mostly existing home sales, with new construction sales often taking place outside the listing service. The MLS is generally considered to represent about 85 percent of the market.</p>

<p>"Home sales overall are doing terrific and the market is very robust," said Jeff Ramsey, broker/owner of Ramsey Realty Group in Longview. "I see nothing different to close up at the end of the year and start out next year very strong."</p>

<p>Both the number of jobs and size of the area workforce is increasing, state data shows, and Ramsey said that means more people looking to buy homes.</p>

<p>New homes are typically moving faster than existing homes, he said.</p>

<p>"The oil and gas industry is a very large part of our driver here for homes sales and buying," Ramsey said.</p>

<p>"Our medical communities are growing here. Longview is one of seven retirement communities in the state of Texas. It draws more people looking to retire and move here, which drives up more medical."</p>

<p>Low interest rates also have played a role in the strong market, and Ramsey said he expects interest rates to remain steady through about the middle of next year, when they might increase by a quarter- or half-percent as the economy continues to improve.</p>

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Longview-area home sales

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<p>How homes sold this year compare with 2013:</p>

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Month20142013
Jan.122143
Feb.158124
March196196
April157203
May221175
June212217
July222211
August216210
Sept.204181
Oct217157
Total1,9251,817
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<p>Source: Longview Area Association of Realtors</p>

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Average sale prices

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<p>Average home sale prices in the Longview area by month:</p>

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Month20142013
Jan.$152,984$143,967
Feb.$161,904$152,544
March$152,240$153,223
April$175,144$164,861
May$168,044$171,169
June$161,213$203,264
July$163,394$168,347
Aug.$159,756$161,375
Sept.$160,183$155,730
Oct.$157,175$159,553
YTD Avg.$161,313$164,94
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<p>Source: Longview Area Association of Realtors</p>

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