Rome real estate agents closed on the sale of 813 homes last year, up from 689 the year before. The average sales price in 2012 was $111,691, up from $106,334.
“I think we will see steady improvements in the real estate market,” said Jason Free, president of the Greater Rome Board of Realtors. “The first three months will be marked with some uncertainty as the market adjusts to new regulations.”
The monthly average of days that homes stayed on the market dropped from 228 days in 2011 to 203 in 2012.
“Sometimes folks will, if their house doesn’t sell, offer it for sale or rent,” said Jane Slickman, president-elect for the Rome Board of Realtors. “Most of the time folks are pretty conscious of getting out of one before they get into another.”
New foreclosures for single-family units dropped by 20.6 percent in 2012, from 170 in 2011 to 135 in the year that just ended.
“We are seeing fewer foreclosures affecting the market each month, which is a big positive,” Free said.
Slickman pointed out that while foreclosures are down, there are still a number of buyers who are out there looking for a bargain first.
“Sometimes the condition of the house is such that it’s not a bargain, or it’s more than people want to take on,” Slickman said. “People still want to look at those just in case.”
“We are still in a buyer’s market,” Free said. “Rates are still below 4 percent for buyers with a good credit score.”
Free also said that he expects to see a rebound in new housing construction in 2013, a development that would be welcomed by homebuilders who have been hammered by the down economy for the past five years.
Statistics regarding the number of permits issued for new single family residential construction for the past year are not yet available from the Rome-Floyd Building Inspection office.