The Northwest Georgia housing market continued its upward swing in November, but tax hikes fueled by Obamacare have local realtors fearing a pause in future growth.
President of the Greater Rome Board of Realtors Jason Free says that, overall, 2012 has been a fabulous year for a tricky market. Since February, the local housing industry has picked up momentum and almost 50 area agents have closed over a million dollars worth of transactions in the past 12 months.
In many ways, November 2012 demonstrates this growth. At this time last year, realtors closed 66 homes with an average sales price of $77,000, while also sitting on 877 active residential listings. Although local realtors only closed 65 deals this past month, the average sales price was significantly higher at $124,000. There were also over 100 less active listings, illustrating a greater demand for homes.
Though on the rise, the Northwest Georgia housing market is facing some heavy uncertainly in 2013.
“I think we’re going to see a little flatness in the market in the first quarter. Some of that is traditional; from November to February, the market sort of takes a pause. Combine that with the fact, we’re looking at some new things coming on the market with Obamacare, a 3.8% tax on investment,” Jason Free said. “You have different things that are affecting the market---the fiscal cliff. I think it’s going to take two, to three, maybe four, for businesses and individuals to really get a handle on what’s at play, and how it’s going to affect their jobs and business.”
Alongside the 3.8% tax increase on couples with an adjusted gross income of $250,000, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction is on the chopping block. Free says that eliminating the tax-break for home-owners could make home ownership less attractive, causing a ‘kink’ in the market.
Even amidst this looming black cloud, Free predicts the housing industry will continue to grow after some of the uncertainty resolves.