Central Texas home sales showing signs of a pickup

By Shonda Novak| Wednesday, July 1, 2009, 02:43 PM

Central Texas’ new-home builders started nearly 35 percent fewer homes in the second quarter than a year earlier and closed 36 percent fewer sales, new figures show.

However, there are signs the market may be picking up from earlier this year, because builders started 1,861 new homes in the second quarter, up nearly 53 percent from the first three months of 2009, according Residential Strategies Inc., which tracks the housing market.

“The second-quarter period historically marks a time of increased start activity, based on increased buyer traffic and sales during the spring selling season,” said Mark Sprague, the Austin partner with Residential Strategies. “Homebuilders had very few backlog orders to fulfill during the first quarter and no need to begin any speculative construction, but buyer traffic and sales have increased, marking the need for additional starts during the second quarter.”

For the 12 months ending in June, builders closed 8,978 sales, down 32 percent from the 12 months that ended in June 2008.

From The Austin American Statesman

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