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Bell County housing market, supply isn't meeting demand

Posted at 1:55 AM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 02:55:21-04

Interest rates are through the roof causing mortgage loans to skyrocket but buyers looking to make a home in Bell County are ready and willing to buy.

A recent report from the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtor's shows inventory has increased from last year, but still not enough to meet demand.

It's safe to say the housing market is still hot. Realtor's like Dom McShan have represented several hopeful home buyers throughout the past two years in Bell County.

"One of the biggest challenges is finding homes and getting creative, even when we do find homes and make their offer stand out," said the realtor. "The past few years have been some of the lowest inventory that we've seen historically. Meaning that pretty much we can sell all the homes that are on the market in less than a month."

Michael DeHart, the Association Executive for the Ft. Hood Area Association of Realtors said, "A rule of thumb for a healthy real estate market is you have six months of available inventory. Right now, in Bell County, we have less than a half a month."

DeHart explains addressing the supply of homes in the county isn't something that can happen overnight. He said its simply an issue of supply and demand and an influx of new buyers coming into the area.

"We've had a buying spree for lack of a better term, you know, a lot of houses are being sold, or being sold at above asking price and that's still a little bit true now. But the biggest reason that prices are up is because supply is down and there's a lot of different reasons why suppliers down. That's just the plain fact, the supply side economics," said DeHart.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Bobby Whitson said across the state commercial real estate is booming, now they are working with the cities to balance the scales.

Whitson said, "We've got a lot of businesses coming in here because of that, there are a lot of jobs occurring here. The inventory is so low a year ago that even with doubling those numbers, we still have a very low inventory. What that does is it makes builders want to go out and get more lots to continue building houses because the market is there for homebuyers to keep buying those houses."

As more people pour into the city limits, Whitson said the goal is preparing for sustainable growth in unincorporated areas.

"It's been over 20 years since we've done anything with the subdivision regulations in Bell County. In the last 20 years, Bell County has changed dramatically," said Whitson. "We're reworking our subdivision regulations now, tweaking those so that we can ensure public safety. As more and more people start to build what we're calling a little city out in the county."

Whitson said the county is seeing a lot of out of state homebuyers and well as people from Travis county moving north. The average median price for a home in Bell County is $285,000.