Housing market appears strong in 2013 - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Housing market appears strong in 2013

JR Towne goes over home sales statistics. JR Towne goes over home sales statistics.

After years of watching home values decline and foreclosures rise, agents believe the housing market is taking a turn for the better.

Many in our area say the Christmas holidays brought renewed interest in home buying and that trend is continuing into the new year.

But the growth also has them urging potential home buyers to act fast.

With 30 years in the real estate business, JR Towne knows how to predict the housing industry's future.

"We're getting back into a better market--a better balanced market."

Towne believes after years of foreclosures and plummeting home values, the industry is taking baby steps in the right direction.

Sales during the holidays were steady, contributing to a successful January--something he hasn't seen in years.

If buying continues, Towne believes home prices and interest rates will rise.  They're all indicators of a healthy market.

"Everything is set up to have a modest gain this year on your home."

"We're in it right at a really good time," says Bud York.

York recently sold his house for less than he'd hoped.  It's an unfortunate reality for many sellers.

He knows, though, if he buys a home now before interest rates rise and that home appreciates, "more than likely you can make it up on the back end," he says.

It's one reason agents urge buyers to act now. The deals won't last forever.

"A lot of the foreclosures have been sold and a lot of the giveaways are gone," says Towne.

Towne believes homeowners may only see an increase of 1 to 3% on the current value of their homes.

But, he also says growth is growth and "you have to start somewhere."

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