Numbers for the new year show major gains in all the right places for East Texas home sales, signaling a stronger economy and a return to the "sellers' market."
One step at a time, Candace Widemon is looking for a new home.
"We've just listed our house and so we're looking for a larger home in a neighborhood close to town," Widemon said as she toured a home in Lindale's Penny Lane subdivision.
With three children growing up she's looking for more bedrooms and bathrooms. But she's not sure how the shifting housing market will help--or hurt--her hunt.
"We're just starting so it's kind of hard to say," Widemon said.
"Folks are having a harder time finding what they're looking for," Realtor Laura Adkinson with Real Edge Real Estate said.
Adkinson said lower interest rates and an improving economy are turning into offers and sales.
"[Buyers] feel a sense of urgency when they find something that they like and they're going after it," she said.
In January of 2012 the average East Texas home sold for $150,211. A year later that was up to nearly $163,000.
Even better for home sellers, a year ago the average house sat on the market for 150 days. In January of 2013 that dropped to 97 days on the market.
"Now is definitely the time," Adkinson said.
Adkinson said first time home buyers are also coming back into the market after shying away during the recession. She said the trends that started in January should continue when the February 2013 numbers become available.