"What I've been seeing is we have a much more normal cycle than we have had in a number of years. At the beginning of summer, sometimes we see a little dip," said
Home sales involving Realtors -- excluding those sold directly by owners or builders -- fell 4.07 percent last month compared with
Pending sales, however, rose 20.57 percent, to 2,321.
It's a "frustrating market" because of lending standards tightened in the wake of the national housing crash -- six years ago now -- and other difficulties in financing, said Petersen, owner of
Critics point out that minimum credit scores for loans backed by the
Prices here slipped from March to April, but were up year to year, the Realtors reported.
The average price in April was
The median price was
Nonetheless, Petersen said cash buyers -- local down-sizers with equity, newcomers from higher-priced markets who bring equity, and local and out-of-state investors -- are creating multiple-offer deals.
Difficulties aside, Petersen said, "If you've got a marketable home, and it's priced right, it's moving."
Even with rebuilding in
Permits were down 7 percent in
However, homebuilders reported brisk traffic and good sales off of the second annual Parade of Homes Spring Festival in early May. Builders are not dealing with reduced demand, but with a shortage of ready-to-build lots, said developer
"That's not to say there aren't some areas and some price points that aren't slower," he said, but a bottleneck in municipal planning departments is a bigger issue.
Livingston said he had about 250 lots "in the pipeline" -- under review -- by
It is taking time to work out of the construction slowdown, which bottomed out here in 2009, he said. For several months afterward, land development came to a standstill.
"Builders and bankers pulled in their horns in 2008-2009," Livingston said, and infrastructure work has been slow to regain a pace to match demand from buyers and builders partly because municipal resources were redirected during the downturn, especially in
Otherwise, Livingston said, citing the strong energy sector, surging health care services and other growth in the local economy, "all the ingredients are here" for
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