The real estate industry has not been for the faint of heart, but those willing to speculate over the last few years and accept the risk of buying property during some of the darkest days in history are about to reap the rewards. We started out our 2012 recap by stating that, “The best time to buy real estate was a year ago. The next best time is now.” In the last six months, that statement has proven true on both a local and national level. Nationally, existing home prices have risen 12.6% compared to May of 2012, and new construction homes are up 7.4%. On a local level, Mobile experienced price increases of 4.7% year over year, and Baldwin County followed with pricing gains of 3.1%. One factor significantly contributing to the upswing in pricing is the drastic jump in finished lot prices, which are estimated to be up 30 to 50% in the last year. The deals are becoming few and far between and with rates rising, the window to buy at a discount is closing rapidly as we transition back to a seller’s market. The good news is that we still don’t feel our market has experienced the substantial run-up in values that other larger metropolitan areas have. As a result, there is still time for both investors and end users to enter our market and take advantage of prices and rates that are considered very low by historical standards. We see nothing but upside for our area over the coming years.
The number one priority for Bellator entering 2013 was to expand into new markets and increase our agent base in order to further develop market share. To say we grew in the first half of the year would be an understatement. Led by our President, Troy Wilson, we raised our number of offices from two to six and have improved our agent base from 29 agents at the end of 2012 to 77 today. In addition to opening a new office in West Mobile under the leadership of our Mobile Broker, Don Jones, we have also recently added a Saraland office under the guidance of James Henderson to be able to better serve our clients across all of Mobile County. However, our biggest news of the first quarter has been the merging of Ono Island Realty with Bellator. The Ono Island office has been in the Cox Family for over 20 years and has been owned and operated by Allen Cox, Jr. since 1997. It has produced over $750,000,000 in closed volume under his leadership. Allen is the President of our Coastal Division and currently working out of our new Orange Beach office that opened in May on Perdido Beach Boulevard at the former location of RE/MAX Paradise.
The first half of the year has been remarkably busy for all of our offices with elevated activity levels across all property types. At the onset of the year, we established a goal of $175,000,000 in closed volume for 2013, but later revised that goal to $200,000,000 due to our growth. We are proud to report that we are on track to reach this goal having closed $101,309,502 in transaction volume the first two quarters. As a result of the diligent efforts by our sales force and staff, we are pleased to announce that this figure makes us number one county wide in production resulting in a 7.52% market share based off a total of $1,346,499,338 in transaction volume conducted in the first half of the year according to the Baldwin County MLS. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead for the remainder of 2013 in order to realize our goal and maintain our position at the top, but we feel that we have the people and the market momentum behind us to make it happen.
- Bellator leadership, agents help provide Lee County tornado relief
- Fairhope Realty Group becomes Bellator’s 8th office
- Bellator announces merger with Triple Option Properties, LLC
- Exploring Summer Camp on the Alabama Gulf Coast
- Enjoying Family Friendly Events on the Alabama Gulf Coast