Real Estate Sales in Region 8 Strong

February 25, 2004 -- Posted at 5:23 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- It's a big decision to buy a home, but how do you know when it's the right time? The National Association of Realtors says that home sales are significantly down...but what about here in Region 8?

A real estate trade group says home resales are falling, down from a near record high from last month, so when's a good time to buy a home?

Angie Emerson is a looking to purchase investment property in the near future. She said she based her decision to buy on the politics of the year.

"It's an election year and the rates are good right now, and I feel that they will not change until after the election, and we never know if they are going to go up or down during an election year or after an election year," said Emerson.

Buyers usually purchase homes in the spring and summer months. And if you're a seller, a home in Jonesboro can be on the market for an average of about 118 days before selling. But that's not a deterrent for realtors here in Region 8.

Joyce Isbell is a broker manager for Crye-Leike Realtors in Jonesboro and said the market is good for buying.

"It's very good here, our sales in 2003 were up 30% over 2002, so Jonesboro has a very good residential market," said Isbell.

And while the national trend of home resales appears to be down, realtors say it's not the case here in Region 8, and in fact, it's a buyers market.

"It's most likely more of a buyers market than it is a sellers market at this time. But sales still are brisk," agreed Isbell.

And with mortgage rates down, buyers are more likely to purchase property.

"Investment property now is a good time to buy because the mortgage rates are so low. The down payment for one is 10% or less, which you know, that could change in the near future," said Emerson.

"In Jonesboro our property has risen in value some, but we have a very stable real estate market and our sales stay good," said Isbell, "In fact, we've been told that we're kind of like a bubble in Jonesboro, that our market stays good. And it's been good for several years, as long as the interest rate is low, we continue with sales."

Experts caution against reading too much into the decline in home resales for last month. Sales are expected to remain strong throughout the end of the year, fueled by low interest rates.