Things are looking up for Hampden County's real estate front.
On Wednesday, Donald Ashe, register of deeds for Hampden County, released real estate numbers for 2012.
"The total amount of money collected last year in Hampden County was just shy of $1 billion, which is a lot of money," Ashe said.
It's a lot of money and a 9 percent improvement over the total amount of money spent on real estate in 2011.
However, this big figure not only includes residential retail sales, but commercial sales, too.
Hampden County home sales alone went up by more than 19 percent.
CBS 3 wanted to see how these numbers translated to the residential real estate market, so we asked a local real estate agent to tell us what these numbers mean for people looking to buy a home.
"If you're in a position to buy, it's definitely a good time, and there are several reasons why. First, we're still seeing a slight reduction in price, so people can get a more affordable home. The second thing is that we're still seeing interest rates that are record low interest rates," said Kevin Sears, broker at Sears Realty in Springfield.
Although many things seem to be looking up in Hampden County's housing market, Sears said not everything is on the rise. People who are looking to sell their homes still face several problems.
"The problem for sellers though is that prices are still dropping. The median price in Hampden County is $160,000 - that's about a 2 or 3 percent decrease from the year before," Sears said.
Over the next six months, Ashe is optimistic that our area's real estate market will continue to thrive.
"I think it's going to be a healthy real estate market. I do not anticipate or see anything that the interest rates are going to go up. So I don't see anything on the horizon that we derail the progress that it's making right now," Ashe said.
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