A study released Monday by the Newton Board of REALTORS shows an increase in the amount of homes sold in March 2012 from the previous year and a decrease in the inventory of existing homes.
According to the survey’s breakdown, there were 16 homes sold in Newton and the rural Newton area in March, compared to 10 residential properties in March 2011. The total residential listings for March show 144 homes on the market in the 50208 zip code, a 44 percent property decrease from last year. There were 39 properties that went off the market last month compared to 32 in March 2011 and 16 residential homes became pending sales.
Bruce Showalter, a Newton REMAX agent and member of the Board of REALTORS, said this morning that these numbers show a promising trend for the housing market in the Newton area.
“Personally, I think that the housing market here in Newton is on an upswing,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of really bad winters with people not wanting to get out and look at homes, but the warm weather this year brought out some potential buyers.”
Showalter has been a real estate agent in Newton for 18 years, and he said he’s seen a increase in activity in his office recently. He believes that the increase in sales from last year shows a sign of an improving local market.
Although sales show an uptick from 2011, property values have not completely stabilized.
Monday’s survey shows the amount of time a home stays on the market in Newton has increased from 170 days in March 2011 to 201 days at present. Average home prices also have fallen for a third straight March to $73,996, down from $76,007 last year. The average home sale price is down from the five-year high of $86,641 in March 2008 at the beginning of the economic recession.
Board President Krista Clark said this morning that the continually declining prices should level off after the inventory of foreclosed homes is sold. She anticipates a stabilization by the end of the 2012 calendar year.
Mike Mendenhall can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 422 or via email at email@example.com.