The real estate business is picking up in Meridian.
"It is improving," says Terry Winstead with Winstead Realty in Meridian.
For more than 30 years, Winstead has worked in the local real estate industry. At its peak five years ago, he says this area had more than 1400 total properties for sale. But when the recession hit the hardest, that number dropped by about 30%.
"Companies weren't transferring as much and people were afraid to move up," said Winstead.
When it comes to real estate sales, the head of the Meridian Realtors Association says property values here have not dropped as significantly as they have in other parts of the country.
"In that we don't see the high, highs and low, lows that take place across the nation and the state. What I'm proud about with our market is that we maintain a steady progression," said MRA executive, Betty Gast.
In terms of local home sales, Gast and Winstead say the biggest increase right now involves homes valued at $200,000 or more. The smallest gains involve the sale of homes valued at less than $100,000.
"The fewest number of homes that are being sold right now have values ranging from $20,000 to $80,000. I think part of that is because a lot of people who are in that range maybe have credit issues, compared to people who have larger incomes," said Winstead.
Interest rates for home sales are still relatively low in this area, averaging 4%, but the question is how long will they stay that way?
"The Fed says it's going to keep the rates down for a year. So, I don't know. I don't know," said Winstead.
The following are the numbers that show how the recession affected property listings in the Meridian area.
In 2007, there were 1,472 pieces of property listed for sale. By 2010, that number had dropped to 999. Last year, that number slightly increased to 1,013.