Monday, January 2, 2012

Look Ahead: Realtors Expect Home Sales to Recover in 2012

Look Ahead: Realtors Expect Home Sales to Recover By ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer 2011 was a relatively flat year for home sales overall, local sellers and builders are feeling optimistic going into 2012.

Rodger Erker, president of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors, said he and his colleagues have experienced an uptick in sales over the last month, and he's hopeful that will continue.

"People are starting to regain their confidence," he said. "I think people are getting tired of putting off buying a house."

Rather than experience any sudden upswings, he expects the recovery to be slow but steady.
Additionally, he feels that the rock-bottom interest rates should stick around for a while longer.

"Unless something drastic happens, I'm not sure much could happen to cause them to go up," he said. "During election years, rates tend to stay where they are."

Erker believes that home sales in all price ranges will improve, particularly the $200,000 to $500,000 range, which was especially hard-hit during the recession.

Bill Butts, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, said he feels home construction is also headed for a more positive year based on early indications from builders.

"Several builders are already looking for a prosperous 2012," he said.

Butts said that higher consumer confidence, low interest rates and a relatively strong local economy should help lift home construction over last year, which was down 17 percent from 2010 through November.

Additionally, a few more builders are taking a risk and building speculative homes in hope they'll find buyers later, though that number is still far lower than custom jobs, he said.

"There's some builders starting to put some spec homes out there, and they are selling," Butts said.

Like home sales, Butts expects the rate of home construction growth will be moderate.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=32&articleid=20120101_32_E5_CUTLIN159292

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