More home sales mean better roads in Yakima County

YAKIMA, Wash. -- When home sales go up, there's more money for almost every public service you need.

Not only are homes selling faster in Yakima, but it's giving the county more money to make things better.

"Slowly but surely people are moving here again. They are seeing all the perks we have to offer," said John Neidhardt, a real estate agent.

This year, home sales have spiked 13 percent in Yakima County. Nearly 1,000 homes have come off the market. That's the most in at least three years.

"The difference is noticeable. I'm seeing a lot more people willing to buy," Neidhardt said.

For all the "For Sale" signs in Yakima County, there's a bigger issue at play. Every time a house is sold, it means more money for the county. Over the past two years, taxes from home sales have spiked 25 percent in Yakima County.

That money is a shot in the arm for local projects like construction at the Yakima County Courthouse. To this day, more than $2 million in excise taxes have fit the bill for the project.

It also means the county has money for things that effect you personally like road repairs and even sewer maintenance.

"It gives the chance to decide on some projects that would have been on the back-burner for a while now," said Ilene Thompson, the Yakima County treasurer.

Real estate agents tell KIMA there's still a long way to go to match the glory days of 2007 and 2008. But, after three bruising years, 2013 offers some light at the end of the tunnel.

Despite the increase in sales, average prices have held steady.

The average price for a home in Yakima County is $174,000.

That's the same as last year.