Homes Sales on the Rise

September 20, 2012 Updated Sep 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By By Rachel Elzufon

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September 20, 2012 Updated Sep 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - It looks like the real estate market is starting to make a recovery, across the country and right here in Western New York.

That leaves many wondering -- is it the right time to buy or sell? Real estate agents say it's actually about the same.

Robin Swedish made a hard decision -- down sizing and leaving the Grand Island home she raised her family in. Robin told Eyewitness News "we have a huge lot and it's just a lot of work and there's a lot of stairs and we're thinking of the future."

Real estate agents say like Robin, many Western New Yorkers are choosing now to downsize their homes -- helping to drive-up local home sales.

A report from the National Association of Realtors showed that home sales went up nearly eight percent in August.

In Western New York, real estate agents say for the first time in years, it's both a good time to buy and sell. Real estate agent Linda Kutzbach explains "It's very much almost a sellers market because the very affordable homes are very much in demand that most people can afford."

Right now, interest rates are historically low -- often below five percent. Kutzbach says "These wonderful interest rates are amazing -- people want to get in for these interest rates. That's a part of the rush."

Home values are back on the rise -- going for an average of $140-150 thousand in Western New York.

While those who bought a home just before the bubble burst probably will not break even if they will now -- many others are seeing the market come back up.

Robin even made a profit on her house -- and sold it fast, explaining "When we sold our house, it was on the market nearly six weeks and it was sold. So now I'm looking for a house.

Kutzbach says more than 40-percent of homes going on the market in Western New York are sold within two months.

There are also good news for home builders. With more people buying homes, construction is on the rise.

Local home builder David Stapleton tells Eyewitness News "There's still some caution but people, but people are saying what can we do with this money for interest rates being so low, where can we build and people are saying it's time that we start investing again."

He adds that with more construction, there's also more jobs being provided for local contractors.