Is East Texas Housing Market Affected By National Home Sales Slump? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/25/07-Tyler

Is East Texas Housing Market Affected By National Home Sales Slump?

Coldwell Banker Realtors Bobbie Harris and Sharon Counts are walk us through an East 2nd Street home that's for sale in the Azalea District.

It's been listed for the last three months, but they say they haven't felt the national gloom surrounding the housing industry.

"Tyler for the last few years we really haven't experienced that. We're really settling into a normal market here," says Counts.

Harris adds, "We have a lot of people who come here to retire. Our medical community is just booming and attracting a lot of attention."

But also attracting attention nationally is the decline in homes sales, currently in the worst slump in 16 years.

"I think those larger markets are feeding to a certain extent into our market," says real estate agent Matt Marshall.

Marshall says in years past, people were willing to buy a home while they're still selling their existing one. But because there are more homes for sale to choose from than there are buyers, it's taking longer for homes to sell and people don't want to be stuck with two mortgages.

"If they're moving from out of town or within town. What they're doing is putting a contract on a house where they're going to wait and see if their home sells first.  Or they're just going to hold back and as soon as they get a contract on their house then they'll aggressively start looking," says Marshall.

While the sales decline has been the lowest in the south at 1.7%, all these realtors agree the market is currently in the buyer's favor.

"We have a pretty large inventory of homes available that are in the higher price ranges," says Harris.

Sellers just need to be prepared for it to take a little longer to seal the deal.

National data also showed an increase in the number of homeowners unable to pay their mortgages, which is contributing to the national slump.

Locally we're told that hasn't been a significant problem.

Christine Nelson Reporting cnelson@kltv.com

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