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Local Homes Sales Up, Foreclosures Down in 2012


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The numbers are out for housing sales last year and they’re encouraging.

“Last year was a good year for the real estate market,” says Hampden County Register of Deeds Donald Ashe.

Ashe says in 2012, money spent on real estate transactions was up.

While home sales increased, foreclosures were down and he says that’s a good sign for the housing market .

“Total amount of money collected last year in Hampden County was just shy of $1 billion which is a lot of money,” Ashe notes, adding that it’s a nine percent increase over the previous year.

Local Realtors like Kevin Sears say they saw a big jump in home sales last year. He also says it is still a buyer’s market out there.

“I would say it is still a buyer’s market and there are a couple of reasons why. First of all, home prices are still dropping, so they can get more home for their money. Second. reason is the fact that you can get a 30-year mortgage for around three and a half percent – record low numbers for interest rates,” Sears adds.

Sears also says to the buyer’s advantage, there is still a decent inventory of homes on the market for the buyer to consider and he says the trend is likely to continue in the new year.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is averaging 3.34 percent and in November, the 30-year rate set a record low at 3.31 percent.