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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Local real estate agents are starting to see a real estate rebound.
The housing market is better now than it was twelve months ago in New Hanover County when it comes to the amount of time it takes to sell a home.
However, on a national level Americans bought fewer previously occupied homes in September after hitting a two-year high in August.
The National Association of Realtors says sales dipped 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million. The number is down from a rate of 4.83 million in August, which was the highest in more than two years.
Sales are still up 11 percent from a year earlier, further evidence that the housing market is slowly recovering. But sales remain below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market.
The inventory of homes for sale fell in September to 2.32 million. It would take 5.9 months to exhaust the supply at the current sales pace, the lowest sales-to-inventory ratio since March 2006.
Locally agents said the market is staying consistent which is a step in the right direction.
"Are they flying off the market?" asked Amy Aldridge, who is Sea Coast Realty's sales manager. "No, but I would say overall sales are consistent and things are going very well."
The spike in home sales locally has created another hurdle in the housing market that some are surprised to see in a still struggling economy.
"People are having to wait 90 to 120 days for them to buy a house," said Cynthia Strickland. "There's no inventory just sitting out there."
It wasn't too long ago that once a house went up for sale it would sit for weeks, months and even years without a single offer. Things have changed and there's been a decrease in the amount of time it takes to sell and close on a home.
In Sept. 2011, it took an average of 149 days to sell a home in New Hanover County. In Sept. 2012, it took an average of 120 days.
'It's great," said Aldridge. "It's good to see people are feeling a lot better and more confident that once they get their house on the market it's not going to just sit."
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this article.