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Area home prices down
National market appears to be rebounding
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Nationwide, the home market seems to be improving, but it appears a rebound in Liberty County is slower to come.
Among major cities in the United States, the Standard & Poor’s/Case Schiller home price index last week reported 12 percent gains in home values among 20 major cities.
But home prices here — which appeared to show gains this spring compared with 2012 — have seen a 14.2 percent decrease between March and June.
A March report on the Hinesville market indicated fewer homes were sold in the area, but home prices were up and days on the market were down.
But a report that compares March through June of this year to the same period in 2012 shows that time on the market is up from 114 days in 2012 to 129 in 2013. In 2012, the average sold price was $136,132, while it was $116,842 this year.  
Jimmy Shanken, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker, Holtzman Realtors, reflected on the data.
“My opinion for the drop in value is twofold,” Shanken said. “First, we had quite a few foreclosures hit the market this year at deeply discounted values. The other is the current deployment of the 3rd ID deployed down range.”
During the same period, VA loans were down 27.8 percent, while cash buyers were up 57.5 percent, he added, “which tells me that investors were very active in the market, whether it is to buy and hold or buy and flip.”
Among the past several weeks, inventory levels have dropped and pending home sales have risen during the previous months, signs that Shanken said are good.
“This is a strong indicator to me that we will start to mirror the rest of the nation as we work through the foreclosures and our service members start coming home,” he said.
He added that real-estate occurrences are local events; that is, what happens in one market may not affect another.
“We were the last to see a problem, and we’ll be the last to come out, I think, because of the troop rotation,” Shanken said.

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