Saturday May 28th, 2022 6:15PM

Local expert: Current housing market 'craziest I've ever seen'

By Austin Eller Assistant News Director

Over the past year, values have changed drastically for used vehicles, lumber and even retro video games. The housing market is no exception to those changes.

Tommy Howard, president of brokerage services for the Norton Agency, said the current housing market is quite a bit different than normal.

"It's the craziest market that I've seen in 25 years of experience," Howard said. "It's just really due to supply and demand. We have just seen astronomical increase in prices, very little inventory across all price points."

Howard said the reality is, even with this current ever-changing landscape, things are looking pretty good for the housing market. 

"I get asked every day, 'is it a good time to buy or sell a house?'" Howard said. "The answer to both of those questions is yes ... the opportunity here is with low-interest rates. [That] creates a great opportunity for people to purchases houses."

Howard said he believes there will not be a bubble this time around, unlike the situation that unfolded in 2008.

"In 2008 and 2009 we had interest rates at six and seven percent, we had historically high inventories," Howard said. "But we don't have any of those things today."

However, Howard said things could be a little more complicated for a first-time homebuyer in the current market. With home values on the rise, Howard suggested trying to look a little further away from a larger city or central hub. For example, as of Friday morning, only one home was available within Gainesville city limits that was being sold for less than $200,000.

Howard said home prices are continuing to skew upward, specifically in Hall County. In June 2020, the average closed home sold for about $328,000. Howard said that number increased to about $424,000 in June 2021.

That may seem like a huge increase, but Howard said the number is slightly off due to an increase in home purchases over $1,000,000 in the past year. 

"What we have seen, if you really want to take that number, you're probably seeing in the last two to three years, anywhere from a 15 to 20% increase in home values," Howard said.

Howard said the Norton Agency is predicting that value increase will likely decrease some, but they are still predicting a five to eight percent increase in home prices heading into 2022.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: hall county, Norton Agency, Housing market, house, Norton
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