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Home prices in Bell County more than 20 percent higher since end of 2020

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Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 04, 2022

KILLEEN, Texas — Lindsay Curtis and her husband close on a newly constructed home in Belton next week.

Throughout the buying process they faced soaring prices for everything from materials to finding a reasonable builder.

“A lot of builders were canceling contracts," Curtis said. "They were saying you’re either gonna have to pay this amount or we’re gonna cancel it."

Curtis said they originally signed for $326,000 in 2020. Then, the price changed big time.

“It was supposed to take six months to build, but it took over a year," Curtis said. "When we finally got it appraised, it appraised about $70,000 more than what we bought it for.”

Curtis said they also bought a rental home in Killeen, which also appraised $30,000 more than the original price.

“Day-by-day the house were going up to the point where our lender actually offered to give us more money because what we were approved for when I get out the house we wanted,” said Curtis.

According to a Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors report, home prices have jumped up more than 20 percent year-over-year since December 2020 to December 2021.

Housing experts say prices are up 60 percent since 2017.

“There’s definitely been growth and prices," said Robert Tennant, Texas A&M Central Texas's Interim Department Chair of Finance Accounting & Economics. "However, none of them have been near the 20 percent mark until now. It was more like 11 to 15 percent.”

The report also said closings sales were up 60 percent by the end of 2020.

“We still have more buyers than we do sellers and as soon as the house goes up on the market it moves pretty quick,” said HomeVets Realty Jose Segarra.

Experts said the Killeen area has lower inventory than Houston and other major Texas cities. They still expect home prices to rise in the months to come.