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Housing market showing progress

Pike County’s housing market may have never gotten as bad as the rest of the nation, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t follow a similar downward trend — or at least it did for a while.

After the last month, however, that spiraling housing market just might be looking up for Pike County.

“It’s definitely picking up strong,” said Pike County Board of Realtors President Scott Hendricks.

Hendricks said housing sales in the county started to slow since last September, and it wasn’t until just last month realtors saw any relief.

“We saw a slowdown last September in the housing market,” Hendricks said. “It never stopped, but it slowed way down.”

Hendricks’ news comes after the National Association of Realtors announced this week contracts to buy previously occupied homes has gone up for the second month in a row, reported the Associated Press.

Those jumps, however, are reported to have come from the $8,000 first-time homebuyer incentive, something that is not the case in Pike County.

Hendricks said the first-time stimulus has definitely made an impact, just not a big one.

“I’d say it has some, but that’s such a small part of our market,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said in Pike County, only about 10 percent of the homebuyers fall into the first-time purchasers category.

“I know I am working with two couples right now, and I know the reason I’m working with those is because of the stimulus,” Hendricks said.

The main reasons Hendricks attributed to the local housing boosts are low interest rates coupled with consumer confidence.

“I think homeowners or potential buyers are realizing how good long-term interest rates are on houses, and they are concerned those will go up in the future,” Hendricks said. “They’re probably feeling safer about their own personal jobs, and consumer confidence is coming back locally.”

*The Associated Press contributed to this report.