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Renting Less and Buying More

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Bryan College Station has seen a boom in real estate over the past few years from homes to apartments. Experts say people seem to be renting less and buying more.

Mark Dotzour is the chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and says, "I'm expecting to see slow but positive job growth here in Brazos County in 2005. Expecting interest rates to increase but at a very modest pace. home price appreciation is doing quite well in Brazos County."

Dotzour says home sales in Brazos County are up five percent, compared to a 3.6 percent statewide.

Broker, Art King says that's partly due to continuous job growth, low interest rates and home price appreciation.

King adds, "We're just a dynamic place for things to happen. That's true in residential commercial, multi-families, whatever you want to talk about. There's gonna be a continuing need for those type of projects."

Nationwide, the number of renters is on the decline, but that's not the case in the Brazos Valley. While there may be more vacancies in our area, King attributes that to the growing number of new apartments and duplexes. In fact he says they be bit overbuilt, more so than 15 years ago.

Meanwhile, low interest rates have drawn people out of the rental market and into buying homes.

"The federal government has all kinds of home buying programs for people with moderate income-maybe don't necessarily have a down payment. We've got new programs for those people to help them buy homes that weren't available five years ago. That's also driving people out of rental homes and property into home ownership." says Dotzour.

Whether you're a buyer or a renter, experts agree the forecast in the Brazos Valley looks bright.

King says there will always be people looking for a place to live and he doesn't foresee a decline in real estate anytime in the near future.