By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
A strong national economy coupled with the addition locally of a new truck stop, a new manufacturer and a new downtown winery outlet bode well for 2019 real estate sales in Marion County, some believe.
2018 finished strong with the announcement of the CEFCO truck stop on US 59 and Queen Wood Products in the Jefferson Economic Development industrial park.
Remodeling has also begun on two Polk Street buildings where Enoch Stop will open a winery, tasting room and internet cafe soon.
Laurel DeWare with Jefferson Realty believes the national economy also plays a role.
“People buy property in Jefferson from all over the United States,” DeWare said. “It’s a national market place.”
The upward trend is seen elsewhere in Texas.
“Statewide, the demand for homes priced under $200,000 remained robust as the DOM balanced at a record-low 57 days,” James P. Gaines writing in “Texas Housing Insight” stated. “This cohort accounted for the largest proportion of sales through an MLS at 38 percent but was remarkably lower than its 72 percent share in 2011.
Demand was strongest in the $200,000-$300,000 range (54 DOM), which encompasses more activity in the major metros. Demand for homes priced above $500,000, however, inched above 86 days after sinking below 80 days in June.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have people, particularly younger people, interested in locating in Jefferson or Marion County,” DeWare said.
DeWare said homes on rural tracks seem to sell well.
Matt Whitfield with Century 21 agrees.
“Tracts and houses under $150,000 move best in our rural area,” Whitfield said.
DeWare observed that “nicer properties” appeared to move quicker.
“The best sales are houses in very good condition,” DeWare said, “and new homes and buildings with architecture that resembles historic Jefferson properties.”
While DeWare is optimistic about real estate sales in 2019, Whitfield and Gaines remain cautious.
“It all depends on the federal reserve and how they are going to handle interest rate hikes,” Whitfield said. “If rates are left alone then more buyers will be looking to purchase. Any rate hikes tend to slow down buyer inquiries. But real estate is always a solid investment.”
Gaines was also concerned about the impact of interest rates.
“Interest rates jumped to a seven-year high amid a booming national economy and rising inflation-expectations,” Gaines wrote. “The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation’s 30-year fixed-rate elevated to more than 4.8 percent. Higher interest rates disproportionately affected Texas refinance mortgage applications, which slid 38 percent since January.”
“I do believe that 2019 will be a good year for real estate,” DeWare said. “All the indications are here. We have received many calls during the holidays from people who are interested in buying real estate in the area.”
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