Housing market continues to suffer


A house sits for sale at 103 Tilton Park Dr. in DeKalb. The housing market in DeKalb is expected to remain flat in 2011.

By Danny Ciamprone

DeKALB | Despite optimism, the U.S. housing market will remain flat in 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

In an article on money.cnn.com, MBA states home sales will fall 0.1 percent during the year, and existing home sales will fall one percent to 4.82 million.

The market in DeKalb is no different, said Jerry Wahlstrom, realtor at McCabe Realtors, 120 W. Hillcrest Drive.

“For single family homes in DeKalb there were 23 closings in the last three months,” Wahlstrom said. “Of those, 10 were foreclosed, so that is a strong number. In the past you’d be lucky to find one or two.”

Wahlstrom also said that the market is always slower in the winter, regardless of how good the economy is. Many real estate agents say that sales were down for the months of November through February, but that spring is when many agencies rebound, Wahlstrom said.

MBA said the housing market decline is due to a recovering economy and high unemployment.

Carrie Ottum, broker/owner of Signature Real Estate Pro, 820 S. 4th St., said she is optimistic for spring 2011.

“The market has been on a decline, but we’ve noticed a big pick up in the spring market,” Ottum said. “Overall values are down, but we’ve been seeing more movement physically.”

JT Murray, manager at Pittsley Realty, 1005 Regent Dr Suite 1, agreed with Ottum.

“We’re expecting the market to turn around shortly,” Murray said. “Things are starting to pick up more and more with a few listings and people looking to sell.”