Last year’s consolidation of Macon and Bibb Counties hasn’t dampened the recovery of the residential real estate markets in the area. Houston County has also been experiencing a market resurgence. The gains aren’t enormous or flashy; rather they are the slow, steady bankable gains that signal continuing market recovery. Home sales in both counties have trended upward since their low point in 2010.
2014 was typical of the market growth for the area, according to Fickling & Co VP of sales Guy Gunn. “It followed previous years’ trends pretty much in terms of month-by-month activity,” says Gunn. “The bottom of the market in Macon was 2010, and it has been picking up slowly, but steadily since 2010.”
Senior Fickling VP Elaine Lee, who works in the Warner Robins office, agrees with Gunn’s assessment, saying, “We had an increase in the market and overall not huge adjustments in sales prices, but we did see some increase in sale prices.”
Fickling Co, a Macon-based multiple listing service for Macon-Bibb, Monroe, and Jones counties, showed $216.7 million in the sales of 1,850 properties in 2014. This in an increase of 8.7% from the 2013 sales, which totaled $199.3 million for 1,859 properties. The Houston County MLS showed 1,816 sales valued at $274.6 million for 2014, an increase of 7.3% from the 1,718 home sales totaling $255.9 million in 2013. Home sales in all four counties remain steady, with median home prices on a definite upswing.
While the mid-state Georgia real estate market has not always conformed to national trends, the current market is fairly close to national averages and expectations. Oxford Economics lead economist Gregory Daco explains that the housing market “continues to move slowly forward, but at a modest pace … We’re expecting the different drivers of the housing sector to get in place. That’s an environment of low rates, reduced home price inflation, accelerating wage growth and rising or strong confidence.”
Macon-based builder Klassix Home Designs reports that business increased in 2014. Troy Moxley, co-owner of Klassix, says that, “People started turning loose of their money, and we started remodeling more and building more,” and that when the bank lending standards relaxed, “it got a lot better last year. It’s been steadily picking up … More people are calling, and I’m getting more work.” Klassix has six houses currently under construction. All of the firm’s current projects are are being custom-built for buyers, but they expect to build one or two spec homes to model Klassix’s work once the market picks up steam.