The Summit County housing market is posting its most promising numbers since 2007, with sales up, inventory down and bank sales and foreclosures on the decline according to industry data.
Still solidly what real estate agents call a "buyer's market," prices are largely stagnant, but the other two indicators experts use to monitor the pulse of the industry - the number of sales and the number of properties on the market - are trending in a positive direction.
"We're on the way to rebounding, or stabilization," said Allison Simson of Summit Real Estate in Dillon. "I think there's a little more consumer confidence, and people see there're some great deals to be had up here and that won't last forever."
The number of homes sold in Summit County through brokers is up approximately 15 percent year-to-date for 2012 from the same time frame in 2011. Data from Land Title Guarantee Co., which tracks all completed sales in Summit County, indicate a 10 percent increase in dollar volume this year from last.
After a strong October for property sales - when many summer browsers become buyers - the inventory on the market is also down roughly 15 percent from the same time last year, MLS data indicate.
"In general we started out the year kind of slow and things have in general been picking up," Timberhill Real Estate broker associate Eric Buck said. "We had a monster October in terms of closings."
The upswing in a market that has been weak - those in the industry describe it as "correcting" - for four years could be attributed to the same factors that boost all industries in Summit County.
Experts credit the positive trends to the summer heat across the country, which made Summit County a temperate escape by comparison, as well as recovering consumer confidence.
But some say the turn around might point not only to a recovery in the national economy, but in the local economy as well.
"We're seeing a lot of local transactions," Land Title director of sales and marketing Brooke Roberts said. "A lot of locals are taking advantage of interest rates and good pricing around the county."
And the Summit County housing market is on track to finish strong. The multiple listings service shows 178 pending sales. Though not all of them will necessarily go through, or close before the end of the year, the number is high enough to suggest Summit County will finish 2012 well ahead of 2011 in terms of number of sales, real estate agents say.
"We still have a good way to go," Simson said. "We're heading in the right direction."