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To Buy, Or Sell Local Homes? That is the Question.

The housing market is bouncing back in several parts of the country, but what about the Ozarks?
Springfield Homes/ Photo credit: Greg Adkins

The US Census Bureau recently released its first quarter report for 2013, showing that home ownership rates are highest in the Midwest region. The housing market is bouncing back in several parts of the country, but what about the Ozarks? KSMU’s Shannon Bowers has this report.

With prices and mortgage interest rates low over the past couple of years, it's been a buyers’ market. But these days, there's a higher buyer demand in the Springfield area and prices are starting to creep up, say local realtors.

Art Maxwell from Coldwell Banker Realtors, a large national real estate franchise, explains that the local market is much stronger than it has been over the past few years. Some homes are selling as quickly as they get on the market.

“There is a lack of inventory, but there is more buying pressure so it looks like it is starting to become more of a sellers’ market, which is usually an indication of a hotter market,” said Maxwell.

For the last year, the distressed and foreclosed properties have been bought up, resulting in a lack of properties on the market. Another factor is that people have refinanced their homes, getting great interest rates, and now they don’t want to move.

While prices have not risen dramatically, residential real estate is certainly viewed on a case-by-case basis, says Jeff Frye from Jim Hutchenson Realtors, a Springfield real Estate company. He recommends buying local houses now while prices are still low.

“I don’t know that this year will be a seller’s market. It’s probably still probably a little more a buyer's. But then again I’ve seen some price ranges where there is such a lack of inventory, sellers can stay more firm on their price,” Frye said.

Maxwell says there is about a 5% appreciation to prices in the area. He attributes this not only to low rates, but to the fact that people have been able to save up.

“A lot of people are just tired of it. They are going on and living their lives. And they are not worrying about weather or not there is a recession. If they need to buy a home they need to buy a home. If they have to sell a home people need to sell a home,” said Maxwell.

The Midwest is known for being a fairly stable market with the highest home ownership rates for the past five years. In past years, there have been up to 5,000 listings in the Springfield area. This year, that number is down to 3,600.

For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers.