Is the Building Boom Slowing Down?

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says "it's pretty clear" the housing market is cooling. Rising interest rates have made affordability much more difficult. But what if your not looking to buy, but to sell your home? The outlook for putting your house on the market may not be as good as it has been.

The sound of the building boom may be getting softer.

"The market seems to be slowing down just a little bit," Jim Gaines with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said.

For the past two years, the housing market has seen record success.

"Generally if somebody was looking to sell a house they could generally do it in a pretty short period of time because it was so high in demand, that's loosening up a bit," Gaines said.

Selling a fairly new house could have taken two or three months in the recent past, but now a seller could wait six months.

'The interest rates are going up, more people are actually looking to sell because they've seen or heard about the housing market boom, and we've had a lot of new construction," Gaines said.

Also the new, previously lived in house must compete with a brand new one. A new house offers a warranty and the buyer can usually pick amenities. And the price difference can be slim.

"We've got a lot of new homes being built and people trying to leave one house, move into a new one and they have sell the first one first," Gaines said.

But even though gas prices are high, interest rates are expected to rise, and there's a lot of uncertainty with the economy, selling or even buying should not be put off.

"There's no reason to postpone it thinking things will be better next year because they probably won't be better. How much worse, that is open to debate," Gaines said.

So the "for sale" sign could be seeing more days than before.

Now if you’re looking at buying a house, an informational session Saturday may help you out.

The Home buyers Education Coalition, will present a free educational program for future home buyers at 9 o'clock Saturday morning at the Brazos Valley Affordable Housing Corporation at 3971 E. 29th Street.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. To pre-register call 595-2809 extension 5.