Home sales, spending give Waco economy a liftHome sales, spending give Waco economy a lifthttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=133232016-05-27T05:00:00Z2016-05-27T22:00:00Z

​​​​WACO - Home sales and general spending surged in April, sending the Greater Waco Economic Index into record territory yet again, according to a report released by Amarillo-based economist Karr Ingham, who prepares a monthly economic snapshot of the area.

The index rose to 122.5 for the month, up from 121.9 in March and 118.4 in April of last year, said Ingham, who uses figures dating back to the year 2000 to prepare his summary for the First National Bank of Central Texas and the Tribune-Herald.

A total of 273 existing homes changed hands last month, a record for April and a 15.2 percent increase from April last year, giving that sector a needed boost after a sluggish start during the first quarter of the year. 

Through April, 813 existing homes have been sold, an increase of six-tenths of 1 percent.

Buyers began to emerge from hibernation in April, said Trammell Kelly, a residential sales specialist at Kelly Realtors. 

Kelly said he thinks buyers will continue to stir in May and throughout the summer. He is seeing demand for homes priced in the mid-$100,000s, as well as for those ranging from $250,000 to $500,000.

"I tell everyone I see that now is the time to sell, if they have ever given it any thought," Kelly said.

The average price locally for a home sold in April stood at $170,379, which was three-tenths of 1 percent less than that of April 2015.

The City of Waco last month issued permits for general construction valued at $66.3 million, which is the highest April total on record, Ingham said. 

The $172 million value for the first four months of the year also set a record and is 56.9 percent greater than the $109 million during the first four months of last year.

The jobless rate in Waco actually has fallen so low that employers are facing challenges filling positions.

The rate for the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes McLennan and Falls counties, fell to 3.6 percent in April. 

Waco Tribune-Herald
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