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      Bucking the housing trend

      The number of homeowners in America is at the lowest level in 15 years.

      New figures show home ownership fell one percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago.

      Experts say a growing number of people are losing their homes to foreclosures, while tighter lending requirements are keeping some buyers off the market.

      The Tri-States seems to buck that trend.

      "The housing market in the Quincy area is strong," Bobette Cawthon said.

      Gary Broughton says, "The Hannibal market is up almost 20 percent in the number of size."

      "We are seeing increased numbers, increased closings. We are way above last year," Cawthon said.

      So, is it a buyer's or seller's market these days? Believe it or not, this could be one of those rare times in history that it's actually both. There are houses available and in fact, some sellers are seeing multiple offers on their house. Interest rates are at historic lows, and that's good news for the buyers.

      The average time a house sits on the market is about 127 days. Obviously, some homes move faster than others.

      "As long as you price your house correctly from the start, you should be fine," Cawthon added.

      Houses are available, but that's changing, so if you're wanting a new home sweet home, you better get moving.

      "The inventory has been reduced," Broughton said. "Our absorption rate is coming down as far as homes that were sold per month. It's been a buyer's market for years, but that trend is starting to turn."

      Buyers can still get in on the action.

      "This is the perfect time to buy a house. You have $8000 in money that you may be eligible for," Cawthon said. "If you're renting, why rent when you can make an investment in a home."

      Here's some other promising news.

      The number of foreclosure filings in Quincy looks to be down this year.

      Where there is a little bit of a lull is new home construction. Just a couple of years ago, builders would have speck homes on the market. Not now. Gary Broughton says he doesn't think there are any speck homes on the market right now in either Quincy or Hannibal.

      Have you tried to buy or sell a home recently? Tell us about your experience below or on our Facebook page here.