Healthy 2013 real estate market expected
Monday, 21 January 2013 by Grayson Edds
It's predicted that the real estate market in Belton and the surrounding communities will continue to rise throughout the New Year, thus prolonging the trend set in 2012.
Susan Jones, 2013 president of the Temple-Belton Board of Realtors, said 2012 was better than 2011, and she expects the trend to continue throughout 2013.
"We're in a steady incline on our sales and listings, and that's really what we want," Jones said. "We want it to be a steadfast but slow growth; we don't want a spike and then a drop off the map. We're very encouraged this year. People were buying and selling all year long, even through the holidays."
Terri Covington, broker and owner of Covington Real Estate in Belton, said 2012 was a good year, even if it had its downtime.
"For our office, our sales have been up quite a bit from (2011)," Covington said. "The year in itself, we had a pretty good spring and then in the summer it was real flat, but it picked up back in the fall."
While experiencing some drastic changes, the market in Texas didn't experience the severe drops that parts of the nation did during the economic crisis, Jones said. According to the National Association of Realtors website, Texas has outpaced the rest of the nation.
"We never had the huge bust like California, Florida, Arizona, Ohio – a lot of states had a tough time," Jones said. "We fell, but not like them. Now we continue again to slowly rise."
Not only has Texas's real estate market done well, but, specifically, the market in Central Texas has stayed strong, which Jones attributes to location and strong economy.
"We have such a strong economy because of our marketplace," Jones said. "Our job market is good, we have industry, Scott & White is the biggest employer in the area."
She went on to say that because our area includes Temple, Belton, Killeen and Fort Hood that we have a little more stability in the job market than other places.
Location is another contributing factor to the stability of our market.
"I-35 has a great deal to do with it," she said. "That's how we get so much business to move here. Our prices are attractive even to the rest of the state. We're attractively priced in an attractive location."
All being said, both Covington and Jones are looking forward to what 2013 will bring. While rises and falls are always expected in real estate, both are optimistic about the year overall.
"I believe we're going to have a good year in sales," Jones said. "Things will be changing the most this year. I believe it is not longer just a buyer's market. We were there for several years. And sellers are not going to pay as many concessions as in the past. There's not going to be drastic reductions in sale prices. We have to educate the public to that. That will make, as we even out, both sides participate in the market more."
As with many others who look at the developments happening now and planned for the future, Covington said her optimism stems from the influx of business to the community.
"I feel like we're going to have a positive year (in 2013)," she said. "I don't see how we can't have a positive year with the amount of business that we've seen coming in and the excitement that is going on in our area. This is a great place and everybody seems to be recognizing that."