Many great things happened for the real estate market in 2013 including increased sales, higher home prices and less foreclosures.


According to the National Association of Realtors, even though home sales slowed down the last few months of 2013, the year as a whole ended with the best sales total in seven years.


Crye-Leike, REALTORS certainly had a good year achieving a $5.2 billion sales volume in 2013 which was a total 16% higher than 2012 when the company had a $4.5 billion sales volume. Crye-Leike's sales were up in 2013 by $700 million and its Realtors helped the company sell 30,471 properties.


Agents from Crye-Leike recently heard this good news at the company's annual kickoff meetings it holds in each of its regions to rally agents to have a productive new year. Crye-Leike Realtors also heard a market update from Crye-Leike Cofounders Harold Crye and Dick Leike who discussed how the market performed in 2013 and shared predictions of what will be seen in the 2014 housing industry.


"We're happy the real estate market continued to strengthen in 2013 and thankful to our agents for helping Crye-Leike surpass its sales goals for the year," said Harold Crye. "We set a goal to have $5 billion in sales last year and we exceeded that total. We are optimistic the market will continue to improve in 2014, but Crye-Leike is still setting an achievable goal to have $5.5 billion in sales for this year."


Crye adds, "Rising interest rates and home prices will create some challenges for the market. Because of those things, home affordability has already started to decline, but the good news is home affordability is still the best it has been in 5 years."


With Crye-Leike selling 2,406 more properties in 2013 than it did in 2012, company associates hope that 2014 will bring more increased sales.


"The recovering real estate market has helped the economy avoid another recession, but the market still faces challenges,"said Crye. "New home construction needs to be able to increase or there could be a housing shortage and job growth needs to continue improving to help more people be able to afford buying a home."


Dick Leike told the crowd, "We thank our agents for hanging tough in a tough real estate market the last several years keeping the company phones ringing. It's great to imagine how many folks Crye-Leike agents helped to put in a home last year."


Leike adds, "We also thank our agents for the terrific job they do of caring for our customers and helping Crye-Leike remain the #1 leading real estate company in the Mid-South. Homeownership is a powerful part of life and we encourage everyone to keep striving to achieve their dream of becoming a homeowner as we expect the 2014 market to once again see improvements."