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      Housing sales soar in 2012

      Housing market sales were significantly up in the year 2012.

      The Traverse Area Association of Realtors saw record housing sales in 2012 for the five county region of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, and Kalkaska.

      According to TAAR there were 2,145 total sales in the year 2011, and 2,705 in 2012. The rise in numbers created a 26 percent increase overall.

      Officials tell 7 & 4 news that they are expecting more growth in 2013 for sales, as well as the housing development industry.

      "We expect that new home construction is going to have to start to begin because the National Association of Realtors predicted that by 2016, we could actually see a housing shortage," said Executive VP for TAAR, Kimberly Pontius. "The demand for housing is still there. Families continue to grow, couples still get married, people want to own a home. And as that demand increases the existing housing stock isn't going to be able to keep up with that demand."

      Pontius says that there are many factors contributing to the growth. One being that people are taking notice to how beautiful the Northern Michigan area is, with it's surrounding fresh water lakes. He says that housing sales are especially big wherever water is located.

      TAAR also anticipates commercial building sales to rise in 2013.