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New home construction up across the area, nation

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The U.S. Commerce Department says more single-family homes, apartment buildings and town homes are under construction now than have been in the last 4 years. In Forsyth County, same story, nearly 300 more building permits have been issued in the last year as compared to 4 years ago.

Nationally, Real Estate Brokers say low-interest rates, affordable prices and a dip in unemployment are helping drive the demand for new homes and home sales.

"We are putting more product in the ground now than we did a few years ago. It's nice to believe the worst of the market is behind us -- its good to see nationally, builder confidence improving," said Winston-Salem Builder Rick Tozier.

Tozier owns Sonoma Building Company and he has more homes under construction now than he has in recent years. He says that supports more than just his bottom line.

"Housing supports a lot of people, designers, windows, lumber yards, the people that drive food trucks around to construction sites," said Tozier.

Existing home sales are also on the rise. In Forsyth County sales were up 20% as compared to last year, during the month of August.

"We are seeing some pent-up demand where people are seeing its time to buy," said EXP Realty Broker in Charge John-Mark Mitchell.

Mitchell has Winston-Salem's largest home on the market.  The 14,000 square foot home at 4400 Bent Tree Farm Road is up for absolute auction. 

Mitchell says while sales are up, agents still have to be creative to move products like the Bent Tree home.

"In order to get the attention, people are making other options such as an auction.  Instead of constantly chasing a buyer by reducing a property that may of been on the market, we say here's a price now who wants to generate an offer for the buyer," said Mitchell.

The Washington Post reports each new home built creates three new jobs for at least one year.