LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio- For the fifth straight month, the National Association of Homebuilders has included Youngstown on its list of improving housing markets.
Steady improvement on the national side coupled with positive signs in the Valley has local home builders optimistic about business in 2013.
"We're getting a lot more phone calls," said John Sudon, Sudon Bros Homes in Liberty Township.
Sudon Brothers Homes has 40 years of new home construction to base its predictions on. Sudon says pent up demand coupled with improving economic conditions may bring him more business this year.
"2012 was approximately 40 percent better than 2011 and we're expecting 2013 to, I think, almost double those numbers," Sudon said.
On the selling side of things, the positive outlook is echoed by local realtors.
"As far as the new home sales, they're starting to come around a little bit, they're doing pretty good," said Jerry Altobelli, Altobelli Real Estate.
While Altobelli believes existing home sales are up in the Valley, he says prices may still not be at their peak.
Three factors determine which cities make the National Association of Home Builders Improving Markets index; employment growth, housing price appreciation and single family home permits.
Youngstown is one of 242 housing markets that made the list this month.
"You have to be increasing in all of those areas for six consecutive months to even show on the NHB index, so that is a great sign for Youngstown, definitely," said Jennie Brewer, Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of the Valley.
Brewer says Trumbull County saw an increase of 10 new home building permits in 2012. While it's a slight increase, it's a step in the direction that builders and potential buyers and sellers have been waiting for.