Home prices are rising at the fastest annual pace since June 2006, which was right before the housing bubble burst. January prices were 8.1 percent higher than they were in January 2012. The increase shows that the housing market is strengthening across the country.
Spring is here and although the weather doesn't seem to fit the season, the home-for-sale signs do. Augusta home prices continue to rise, a sign that the local economy is getting better.
"The housing market is doing great. In fact, at our company we have seen about a 16% increase in sales, year over year from this time last year, says Senior Vice President John Chambers of Meybohm Realtors.
Chambers says that in February, home prices increased a little more than 20% compared to February 2012.
"But you have to be very careful in how you interpret those numbers because that would include some depressed properties, some short sales, and foreclosed properties that were in the market last year, but are now working their way out of the market. So that's a good thing," says Chambers.
According to the Georgia Association of Realtors, last month, the median sales price of a home was $119,000. In February 2012, the median sales price was $88,000. That's a 35.2% increase... so Chambers says now is the time if you're thinking about buying or selling
"It's really a good time for both. I mean it really is. This is what I would call a healthy market. There is a good balance of buyers and sellers out there… there's a good inventory," he says.
And although we've come a long way over the past few years, Chambers says we are nowhere near where we were in 2006.
"I don't think we'll ever be where we were a few years ago, but that's not a bad thing. That was not, again, not a healthy market. We are at the point now where it's a good strong solid market. We are seeing an increase," he says.
Chambers says his company is also seeing fewer foreclosures in the Augusta market. Nationwide, foreclosures dropped by 29% in February compared to the same time last year.
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