From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

Augusta home sales behind last year's results

Homes are selling a little slower this year compared to last year.

 

Real estate data on the Augusta metro area shows about 40 houses under what buyers did in January through April.

 

The average listing price of a house this year is $157,000, according to data from the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors.

 

When it sells, though, the average price is $154,700.

 

Buyers were negotiating better deals last year and in 2012 – they were getting $4,000 to $5,000 less.

 

The average number of days it takes to sell a house is 175. That’s just shy of six months.

 

Houses will begin selling faster once school is out. The “summer” sales season is always the most robust time in real estate in the metro area. But even then, the data from past seasons says it goes down to an average of five months.

 

BUYERS WANT MORTGAGES: The Mortgage Bankers Association every week has information on who is seeking a mortgage and the rates they are getting. What is significant about the most recent report is that refinances have been overtaken by people buying houses.

 

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 49 percent of total applications.

 

“It is official: we are in a majority purchase market for the first time since 2009,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. “A sizeable increase in purchase applications last week likely reflected the impact of somewhat lower mortgage rates as well as continued growth in the job market.”

 

AND NOW, SOME TWEETS:

  • Augusta no longer listed as location for Sticky Fingers restaurant on its web site. 
  • Savannah River Nuclear Solutions President Dwayne Wilson leaving to head back to Fluor Corp. 
  • Royal DSM NV, which makes chemicals in east Augusta, reported first quarter earnings 35 percent lower than a year ago. 
  • Quad/Graphics reports first quarter loss of $9.1 million, as well as lower sales. 
  • St. Sebastian Way Apartments, with 106 units, site plan pending for 1399 Walton Way in Augusta.

 

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