Tuesday, December 12, 2017




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Home sales down slightly through September; prices up

By Ken Hedler
Oct. 12, 2017 at 11:27 p.m.


Home sales through September in the 10-county region served by the Longview Area Association of Realtors were down slightly from a year ago as sale prices increased, new data shows.

The association this week reported that Realtors sold 1,941 homes from January through last month, down nearly 2 percent from the 1,976 homes sold during the same nine months in 2016.

September sales, at 241, were up nearly 6 percent from a year ago.

Within city of Longview Zip codes, Realtors sold 81 homes in September, up 0.5 percent from a year ago. The median price of homes sold was $166,250 last month, up 0.56 percent from $157,500 a year ago.

"Our market in Longview tends to be steady through ups and downs in our local economy, though it has slowed down a bit by the decline in oil field-related jobs the last two years," Nancy Chapmon, broker-owner of Blue Sky Group Realty, said in a statement.

She noted that sales of homes in the $200,000-$500,000 range within Longview Zip codes increased to 31.9 percent of the total sold in September from 27.03 percent a year ago. Sales of homes going for less than $300,000 dropped to 68.1 percent from 71.62 percent a year ago.

"The upswing in sales of higher-priced homes, plus the rising price per home, is very encouraging to our sellers and a good sign for the Longview real estate market in general," said Chapmon, who has been selling homes for seven years.

Lori Keebaugh, broker/owner of Keebaugh and Co., said she thinks a glut of homes on the market and appraisals for resale homes within Longview Zip codes might be depressing prices.

"We currently have eight months of inventory on the market," she said. "That means it will take eight months to sell everything on the market without new homes (being built). I would say six months is a healthy number."

Keebaugh, who has been selling homes for 17 years, said she thinks months of inventory are high because homes are overpriced.

"We are in a different market and can't overprice our homes," she said. "Another thing that is killing us is appraisers. Appraisers aren't giving us the value for resale homes. There is no way for our market to grow in a positive direction where our appraisals keep coming in low."

Across the 10-county region, homes spent 105 days in the market in September and an average of 114.3 days for the nine-month period, compared with 107 days a year ago and an average of 137 days for the same nine months in 2016; that drop nears 17 percent.

Within Longview Zip codes, homes stayed 130 days on the market in September, up six days from a year ago.

Active listings totaled 573 in September, up about 7.3 percent from 531 a year ago.

The association's data is based on its Multiple Listing Service, which represents about 85 percent of total sales in the market. It does not capture sales by owners or some sales of new construction by builders.

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