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"People just sort of stop looking. They are thinking about buying sweaters for Christmas, instead of houses,"' Ohly said.

This January however, has been anything but typical.

"There has been a lot of activity," Ohly said. "Our brokers have done extremely well this last year. Percentage wise, it's our best year."

Around Summit County home transactions have been rising four years in a row now, with several factors helping to move homes.

Prices are low. In some cases, prices have dropped 20 to 50 percent from where they were four years ago.

There were fewer foreclosures last year, meaning banks are feeling better about loans. That's making it easier for buyers to qualify.

"The other good thing is that interest loans are really low and that's encouraging people to buy," Ohly said.

Another thing that hasn't been seen in years - there are now cases where several buyers are looking at the same house. One property near Keystone selling for $329,000 has had seven showings in two days.

"We are seeing sales above list price," Ohly said.

It makes the jobs of real estate agents like Ann Marie a little easier after a tough recession. And, for the first time in a long time, real estate agents are seeing stability and reasons to be hopeful in the coming year.

"I just think 2013 is going to be fabulous," Ohly said.

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