Resale housing market in Columbia prospers as nation hits 9-year high

3 years 4 months 1 week ago Sunday, July 24 2016 Jul 24, 2016 Sunday, July 24, 2016 4:06:00 PM CDT July 24, 2016 in News
By: Lauren Donovan, KOMU 8 News Reporter

COLUMBIA - The National Association of Realtors reported this week a 9-year high for sales of existing homes this past May. While this comes as good news for the American economy, with sales at their highest level since February 2007, in Columbia the real estate market has maintained steady growth over the past years.

Following the housing bubble of 2008 that coincided with an economic recession, the national real estate market took a hit. However in Columbia, instead of sales decreasing, the market remained steady.

The city has recently taken the title of fourth largest in the state. President Elect of the Columbia Board of Realtors Jim Meyer said various economic factors and population growth have allowed for the market to maintain steady growth. 

"When I came to Columbia in 1977 the population was 40-some thousand, I was a third grader but I remember the signs...Now we are well over 100,000 so that's a sustainable rate of growth in the history of our market," Meyer said. 

The national study attributes the success of the market to an increase in the number of households. It reported that more young adults are heading into the work force and older Americans are downsizing their homes for something smaller and more affordable. 

"Well Columbia does have several engines of growth, our economy is mainly white collar so we don't have a boom and bust type industrial cycle, if you're in St. Louis area and a major employer like Boeing cuts back staff that's going to affect the real estate market." Meyer said. "The historic trend for Columbia has been growth." 

The study also includes reports from economists that said builders will have to respond to the increase the construction of homes to keep up with buyer's demand. 

Meyer said Columbia experiences a 3 to 5 percent rate of growth on average each year. He also said that June is his most profitable month. Since June of 2013 there has been a stagnant rate of existing home sales. 

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