Boone County real estate becoming a seller's market

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | 5:15 p.m. CST; updated 7:30 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 31, 2013

COLUMBIA — Boone County real estate is becoming a seller's market after experiencing a 25-percent increase in home sales last year. Home inventory is low, but buyer demand is high, according to a home sales report released Thursday by the Columbia Board of Realtors

Columbia Board of Realtors, a group of more than 500 real estate professionals in Boone County, expressed optimism about 2013 because of high buyer interest, low supply and the rising cost of homes.

Home inventory in Boone County has been at its lowest level in years. Almost half of the number of houses are available compared to 2007, and realtors have seen buyers struggle to find properties to purchase. Even so, 1,887 homes were sold in Boone County last year — a 25-percent increase from 2011 — and home sales were the highest since 2007. Furthermore, the 129 homes were sold in December — a record for that month.

New construction sales also improved by 40 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. 

Existing home sales are expected to increase another 9 percent in 2013 because of pent-up demand and favorable affordability conditions boding well for the market, according to the report.  

A similar real estate market report by Rob Wolverton of R. Anthony Development, issued earlier in January, indicated the real estate market in 2012 was influenced by the opening of Battle High School. Wolverton called Boone County's real estate market in 2012 'outstanding' in his report.

Jessica Kempf, president of Columbia Board of Realtors, didn't seem to think that redistricting had much of an effect.

"It may have impacted it a little bit until the district figured out those final boundaries for the high school, but I didn't see much of a change after they district finalized the plan," Kempf said. "Some people waited for school district maps to be finalized, but it didn't impact it that much."

Real estate trends in Boone County are similar to those seen across the nation, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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