COLUMBUS, Ga. — It’s a good time to own a home in the Valley area. The real estate markets in both Georgia and Alabama are entering 2017 stronger than last year. A couple of Columbus real estate experts share their insights on this favorable forecast with News 3.
“The past five years, the prices have gone up in Columbus,” says Shep Mullin, President and Owner of Century 21 Premier Real Estate in Columbus.
That positive trend appears one that will remain steady for Valley area real estate for the year to come as well, thanks to job growth.
“So that will translate into more home sales, which will translate into more demand and higher prices,” says Mullin.
Statistics released by CoreLogic reveal that nationally home prices rose by 7.2%. In Georgia, the real estate market climbed 6.3%, with Columbus homes rising on average 2.9% in the past year. While that may seem slow in comparison, real estate experts here say Columbus is more of a sure thing when it comes to long-term growth.
“The Columbus area is always a pretty stable market. You know it’s great because you’re not going to have sudden appreciation, but you’re not going to have sudden depreciation, either,” says Alex Rozwadowski, CEO and Owner of Century 21 Premier Real Estate in Columbus.
One of the positive factors driving the real estate market here in Columbus: the foreclosure rate is down significantly than it was a few years ago.
“Eight years ago, foreclosures used to be 25% of our business. Today, it’s about two to three percent,” says Rozwadowski.
“The average [home] price last year was $174,000 up from $166,000 last year, and I think the main reason for that is we have a fewer number of foreclosures. There are much less distressed properties,” says Mullin.
Right now, agents say interest rates on mortgages are very reasonable as well.
Real estate markets in Georgia that grew faster than Columbus tend to be in areas where job growth is more rapid, particularly, the Atlanta area.
Also, home buying is a great investment. The average net worth of a homeowner is usually about four times that of a renter near retirement age.