Home sales in Alachua County were up 27 percent from this time last year, according to a report released by the Gainesville Multiple Listing Service.
In the month of October, 166 homes in Alachua County were sold, compared to just 131 sales in October of 2012 — an increase of about 27 percent.
Realtors agree the increase in home sales is a good indication the real estate market is on an upswing.
Matt Thomas, a broker and owner of Thomas Group Realty said this might be an ideal time to sell your home. Thomas said the increase in sales isn’t a fluke.
“I think that the real estate market is without question improving,” he said. “I think there’s still a ways to go, but we’re definitely working in the right direction.”
He isn’t alone in that thinking.
Gene Anne McKay, senior vice president of Bosshardt Reality Group, agreed the housing market is improving.
“The brokers in our association are feeling very good overall because of the steady stream of transactions that are coming,” McKay said. “We have a ways to go, but it’s all positive indicators.”
Along with the increase in sales came the exponential increase in cash sales. Thomas said that cash transactions were up 100 percent from last year.
This sharp increase is surprising to Thomas.
“I find that interesting because of how cheap interest rates still are,” Thomas said. “Sixty-four out of 175 sales were cash. I think that shows that there are a lot of people out there with money to be spent and that feel strong enough and comfortable enough with the market that they’re willing to invest that kind of money.”
But if one was looking to buy a home, he or she might want to rethink that decision, Thomas said.
“We’re moving away from being a buyer’s market,” he said. “If a buyer is on the fence, I would encourage them to get off. We do know that with the amount of inventory on the market, it’s becoming more of seller’s leverage towards negotiation.”
Both Thomas and McKay think listening to the advice of a realtor could help those looking to purchase real estate.
“I would have a great agent who knows the market, who can help me prepare my house, and I would put it on the market,” McKay said.