Grand Island could see a big boost in residential construction in 2012.
Whether clients are looking for an upgrade, or just moving to the community, Grand Island realtor Casey Williams says housing sales in the city are on the rise.
"Even last year, we did see a pretty good increase in the number of homes sold," Williams says. "I think the overall volume was up about 10 percent."
Housing sales data from January and February show it's a trend that's not going away.
Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation President Marlan Ferguson says he expects Grand Island's housing industry to see a big spike in 2012.
Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Johnson says that's good news for a community looking for continued growth.
"Housing is an indicator of the economic status of a community," Johnson says.
Ferguson says a strong housing market shows that Grand Island is continuing to grow and that there is a lot of interest in the community.
It seems like a great combination, but there is one thing missing from the equation. There are fewer houses available on the market.
"We're way down on inventory, we only carry about 155 houses for sale in Grand Island right now which is way down from the years past," Williams says.
Williams says that number is down about 40 percent, which means clients looking to buy a home have nearly half as many options to choose from.
"It makes a big difference how many houses you have to look at and what there is to choose from," Williams says.
And for continued growth, that means the community needs new development.
"There's an opportunity for the developers and the builders in the community to again get those hammers out, start building, making more homes available," Johnson says.
Ferguson says some of the increase in home sales in Grand Island can also be attributed to people taking advantage of lower mortgage rates and moving out of rented or leased properties.