There have been 166 house sales reported in Cherokee County so far for December, according to the First Multiple Listing Service, a data services provider for real estate professionals. The total could increase as all numbers are not reported right away.
Sales dropped from the 228 reported in November, but rose from 153 in December 2008.
For 2009, 2,380 house sales were reported in the Cherokee County, down slightly from the 2,394 sales in 2008.
There were 361 new listings on the market in Cherokee last month. That number fell from 455 in November and 438 in December 2008.
The average sale price for a home in the county last month was $221,804, rising from $199,091 in November. The average cost of a house in the county in December 2008 was $218,515.
Wanda Roach, a real estate agent with Century 21 Max Stancil Realty in Woodstock, said the market is improving because of tax credits and the amount of property available.
"There are all these good deals. People are going ahead and taking advantage," she said.
She is anticipating 2010 to be a stronger year in the housing market.
"Not great, but better," she said.
Cherokee Association of Realtors President Terry Moore of Prudential Georgia Realty in Woodstock said January has gotten off to an "awesome" start.
The extension of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers until April has brought on an early spring season, she said. The credit was set to expire in November. The extension included a $6,500 credit for homeowners moving into a new house.
"I think we will see some increase this year," she said about the prospects for the local housing market in 2010. "We will not see a boom. It will be marginally better."
Patricia Wudel, a real estate agent with Prudential Georgia Realty in Canton, is optimistic for the new year, but feels the market is not yet completely healthy.
"Maybe it will be a little better, but who knows," she said. "I think 2010 is still going to be slow. We are definitely not out of the bad economy and the bad real estate market yet."