Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted July 11, 2012 09:56 am - Updated July 11, 2012 09:57 am

Slight improvement seen in this summer's real estate season

The first half of the summer home sales season is a slight improvement compared to the last two years.


The greatest number of homes are bought and sold between May and August. And the Greater Augusta Associaton of Realtors released its June data on Tuesday, giving us a look at May and June, which tend to be the hotest months for homes changing hands.


This year, agents have sold 1,008 homes in those two months, up from 955 last year and 1,000 in 2010. Because of the Great Recession, 2009 is really low – 779 homes in May and June.


Agents sold 900 homes in July and Augusta last year, so that’s the target to beat to have the best summer sales season since before the recession. Some trends in the association’s data to note. The number of days a house is on the market has been going down. The average days on market in June was 162. It was 213 in February. Yes, it is usually higher in the winter months, but this year it was worse compared to other winters.


Also, the average sales price has been increasing – $159,692 in June compared to $152,164 in May and $151,803 in April – so that’s indicative of more higher priced homes selling.


WORLDWIDE NOTICE: The Willcox in Aiken is No. 32 on Travel + Leisure magazine’s rankings of the world’s best hotels.


The inn, which opened in 1898, is a landmark in Aiken. To see the entry: www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-best-hotels/33


It would be a haul to get to No. 1. The Singita Grumeti Reserves is in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

The magazine annually makes its rankings based on a survey of its readers.


The Willcox has been honored like this before. Last year, it was ranked by Condé Nast as being among its top 50 best small hotels in the U.S.