Last year's real estate market "was the worst I've ever seen," said Middletown Realtor Carol Kubis, who has been selling homes from her family-owned agency on Cherry Tree Farm Road since 1978.
In a good year she has listed and closed as many as 97 houses in a year. In 2012, that number was 73 -- and the price of the houses was far below the norm. "We're talking about $100,000 sales and short sales, not $300,000 sales. It was a struggle."
But the stronger economy is bringing in much more activity, and Kubis is feeling "very optimistic."
"I feel the markets really starting to move," she said in an interview Wednesday. "Lots of contracts are coming through. Things that weren't getting showings before January are getting multiple showing during the week."
In fact, there is not a lot of housing inventory on the market right now, she said, and it is not uncommon to have multiple buyers pining for the same property. "I have been in bidding wars in last four or five contracts," she said.
Although market watchers say they don't expect rates to exceed 4 percent this year, Kubis suspects that an upward trend in mortgage rates since in the first quarter of 2013 could be motivating sellers and buyers.
The national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage went up by 11 basis points (.11 percent) to 3.63 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey released on March 14.