LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The new year has brought optimism to the housing market in the Las Cruces region after a decent year last year.
Realtor Gary Bell of Exit Realty Horizons  said there has been plenty of business during the last few months and could be a positive sign of things to come for the new year.
"Activity has been strong for us this time of year," Bell said. "Obviously the winter is a slow time for us but signs are pointing to 2013 being a great year for everybody."
Bell added the region is a hot spot with it's warm temperatures and scenic views.
He said a lot people are looking to move to the area because of the low price per square foot of home when compared to other areas.
"Las Cruces is a growing city so there are people moving to Las Cruces and there's still a lot of new home construction," Bell said.
Construction of new homes was steady in 2012.
The Las Cruces Home Builders Association  is expecting to see a rise in construction for the next 12 months.
"We're expecting to see them start increasing a little bit as the housing starts getting more people into the market as first time home owners or home buyers," said Managing Director of the association Steve Chavira.
Chavira said it appears the housing market has reached the bottom of its slump and has been rebounding, but not to where it needs to be.
"There's still some growth that needs to happen and some work that needs to be done," Chvira said.
Chavira added a strong housing market is directly linked to the prosperity of the economy.
"When a builder is building a home there are mortgage people that are working, there are title people that are working, the kid at the movie theater is working, restaurants are working," Chavira said.