ST. CLOUD -- It was a strong first half of the year for housing sales in the St. Cloud area. Statistics from the St. Cloud Association of Realtors show several statistical categories were higher than the same time last year.

New listings, pending sales, closed sales, median sales price and average sales price were all higher than the first six months of 2014.

SCAR President Marty Czech says consumer confidence is high right now and interest rates remain low.  He says it's a great time to be a seller because owners are getting almost 95% of their asking price. He also says it's a good time to buy because of those low interest rates.

Pending sales were up 19% so far this year, closed sales were up nearly 18% and new listings were 7% higher.

Meanwhile, statistics from the Central Minnesota Builders Association show 23 more building permits in their statistical area compared to the same time last year.  In the 10-city listing area, there were 116 permits compared to 93 in the first half of 2014.