Soldiers' Return Means Boost In Home & Auto Sales

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It's a welcome home for Fort Drum soldiers and a welcome boost to the north country economy.

With all three combat brigades now back home, home sales have been on the rise for several months straight.

"And it stayed busy right through December into January, February and March," said Lance Evans of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors.
 
In the first quarter, Realtors sold 216 homes, almost 50 more than the same period a year ago.

"Some of which, I think, were due to the troops coming back," Evans said. "People were out there early. They knew their soldier was coming back. They wanted a place to live."

Those new homes will need cars and trucks in their driveways. The Jefferson County clerk's office says there were 545 new car and truck registrations in March, up more than 100 in March of last year.

Selling cars and trucks is just one way dealers are getting a boost.

"We've also seen a big uptick in service," said Barry Waite of Waite Toyota. "A lot more of them coming back now, have their cars in storage, and they're coming back in and getting them ready for the road."

The real estate market, meanwhile, benefits from a shortage of rental units. In many cases, that's made it less expensive to buy.

Friday, April 18, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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