SA home sales heat up in January

Existing home sales make for strongest January in 5 years

Author: Marilyn Moritz, Reporter,
Published On: Feb 21 2013 05:16:10 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 21 2013 05:58:03 PM CST

January was an unseasonably hot one for home sales.

Numbers from the San Antonio Board of Realtors, SABOR, show 1,249 deals closed for a 24 percent increase over the same time one year ago. It's the biggest January in five years.

"It's like the light kind of came on for a lot of people that interest rates aren't gonig to stay this low forever," said SABOR Chairman Steven Gragg. "And, our homes haven't appreciated yet to catch up with the market."

That created a perfect window of opportunity.

J.J. Leal is considering putting a northside home on the market.

"We looked around yesterday and got an (interest rate) offer of three percent," he said.

The positive market numbers give him more confidence about listing a property.

"It's good to hear," he said. "You don't want a sign sitting in your front yard two, three  years."

Home are selling faster, about two weeks faster than they were a year ago.

And they're selling a bit higher.

The median price of homes sold last month was $149,000, compared to $144,200 the same time one year ago.

Who's buying?

Gragg said first-time home buyers are a huge factor. So are new Texans.

San Antonio is the ninth fastest growing city, according to Forbes magazine. Austin, Houston and Dallas took the top three spots.

"Depending on who you talk to, it's anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 people a day moving here," Gragg said. "Well, those people have to live somewhere."

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