Alabama homes sales on the rise

There is a glimpse of promise in the struggling housing market. Home sales are moving in the right direction in Alabama: up.

Wayne Williams has lived in his East Montgomery home for nearly 30 years, but now he's ready to move on. "I get to retire. We already have a place on Lake Jordan," he told WSFA 12 News.

So, he put his home up for sale several months ago. Over the last few weeks, more people are looking at his home.

William's realtor and President of the Montgomery Area Board of Realtor's, Dee Morris, says home sales are building. Nationally existing home sales jumped 5.1% in February- the biggest monthly increase in five years.  Here in Alabama, home sales are up almost 22% and in Montgomery an increase of more than 17%. "I'm seeing positive attitudes from both the realtors and buyers," says Morris.

Morris credits the tax credit for first time home buyers and low interest rates. She says, "It's the lowest interest rates I've ever seen."

Another reason may be lower home prices. The median sales price for existing homes had plunged to $165,000, which is down 15-and a half percent from last year's median price of $195,000.

Right now, the Alabama House of Representatives is debating a stimulus bill that would spend six million to help spur home sales in the state. The senate has already passed it.

While the monthly sales figures are up in the state, it's still down from this time last year - more than 30%.