Real estate positives

Contrary to some areas in the country, Cape Girardeau home sales have been strong in 2011. According to Multiple Listing Service statistics for the Cape Girardeau County area, an increasing number of homes are selling this year and at a higher price.

Sales on 170 homes closed during the first quarter of the year, four more than during the same period in 2010 and 26 more than in the first quarter of 2009. Sale prices are also up during this first quarter with the average price $141,445 compared to an average price of $129,754 in 2010 -- a 9 percent increase.

Home foreclosures have also dropped so far this year. According Scott R. Clark, Cape Girardeau County recorder of deeds, foreclosures during the first quarter of the year were down 40 percent from the same time period in 2010.

This latest news on housing is encouraging and says a lot about the good work our local real estate agents do to move properties. Hopefully it's also an indicator that the economy is picking up.

Cape Girardeau County is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. Thanks to the area's low cost of living, a strong medical community, good schools and a variety of shopping and restaurant options, our area is attractive to homebuyers. With these selling points, among others, hopefully we'll continue to see strong home sales going forward.